Commenting on James Moore’s Copyright Comments

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore recently granted TVO’s Search Engine an interview on Bill C-11 and Canadian copyright reform. The interview demonstrates yet again that Moore is one of the government’s most skilled ministers – he knows the copyright file and is able to actively debate its merits. Yet the interview raised several points worth challenging.

At 4:30, host Jesse Brown raises the issue of the “book burning” provision that requires students and teachers to destroy lessons that rely on the exception within 30 days of the conclusion of the course. Moore moves quickly to the departmental talking points that I obtained under Access to Information, which claim that this is simply part of the balance. Yet few teachers will rely on a provision that mandates the destruction of their materials at the conclusion of a course and few students will want to have their materials destroyed. The provision is an illusion – it looks at first glance like it will assist education, yet practically it will be ignored. At 6:00, Moore continues by arguing that it is common for students to encounter “time limited” materials. But this provision does more than just create time limitations for students since it creates matching time limits for teachers, which effectively ensures it will rarely be used.

At 12:00, Brown and Moore engage in a discussion on digital locks, with Moore turning to the claim that the government isn’t imposing digital locks, that the free market should work, government should get out of the way, and creators should be able to protect themselves against people who want to hack into their product and steal from them. Brown notes that a better balance is available by linking circumvention to infringment, to which Moore goes right back to the department talking points that simply state the government has the right balance.

Moore’s response demands a few comments.

First, no one has suggested that the government is requiring digital locks. However, far from allowing the free market to work, it is proposing interventionist legislation that creates incentives to use digital locks since copyright works enjoy far more rights when a digital lock is present. Without a digital lock, copyright works are subject to the usual copyright balance including the various copyright exceptions or user rights.  With digital locks and Bill C-11, the copyright exceptions often disappear. Second, everyone agrees that creators should enjoy protection. That isn’t the issue. The issue is why the government is choosing to deny Canadians their user rights/exceptions when a digital lock is used.  It could protect against those that “want to hack into their product and steal from them” and retain the exceptions by linking circumvention to copyright infringement, but it is choosing not to do so.

At 15:50, Moore restates something he said at the press conference: “piracy should be illegal in Canada and right now it’s not.” This is simply false. Leaving aside the fact that “piracy” is not a legal term in the Copyright Act, Canada is currently compliant with its international obligations.  People who make unauthorized copies of copyright without an exception violate the law as it stands today. People who authorize infringement of copyright can be found liable under the Copyright Act. The Copyright Act includes some of the largest statutory damages in the world. There are currently lawsuits in Canada against individual file sharers and websites like isoHunt that use existing law. To say that piracy is presently legal in Canada is plainly wrong.

At 18:00, Moore harkens back to his “radical extremist” comment of June 2010 when, after Brown asks about file sharing lawsuits, he says that he has read Brown’s stuff and that the one political party that agrees with the idea that “people should be able to hack into other people’s software” is the Pirate Party. Moore knows full well that those calling for balance on digital locks include mainstream political parties such as the Liberals and NDP, along with virtually every education group in Canada, library group, consumer groups, and business groups. This is not about a wild west for copyright. It is about retaining the same balance that exists offline in the digital realm.

Finally, at 19:00, Brown raises the issue of U.S. influence over the Canadian copyright reform process.  Moore interjects by stating “I have not met with a single American [movie] studio.” A review of the lobbyist communication reports indicates that this may not be accurate. The reports reference a meeting with the Motion Picture Association-Canada and Moore in 2010, just weeks before Moore appeared before the C-32 committee.  More recently, Moore met with the Canadian Recording Industry Association and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s IP Council, which features both the MPA-Canada and CRIA as members. None of this is surprising or wrong (the only surprise would be if the Canadian Heritage minister didn’t meet with these groups).  The surprise was Moore’s claim to have not had such meetings.


  1. Well he said he didn’t call those who disagree with him all ‘Radical extremists who must be opposed at every opportunity’ either until someone released him saying it on camera.

    Seems the Honourable Minister Moore really is one of the government’s most skilled ministers … in the stereotypical politician sense that is.

  2. “Second, everyone agrees that creators should enjoy protection. That isn’t the issue.”

    You are kidding right? Or are you just lying to make your point? There are many people in the anti-copyright crowd who think making a digital copy for free should never be considered theft. In fact I would wager most anti-copyright advocates have made arguements to that point one time or another.

  3. Russell McOrmond says:

    RMI answer to TPM question
    I found it amusing that Moore gave an RMI answer (watermark on broadcast) to Jesse’s “digital lock” question.

    What he also seems unaware of is that in the majority of real-world scenarios, the *OWNER* of the thing being locked by these digital locks is not the entity that holds the *KEYS* to these locks.

    Given this, it is false to say that this just enables owners (copyright owners, owners of tangible information technology hardware) the ability to protect what they own. What C-11 enables is holders of the keys to digital locks to circumvent the rights of the owners.

    What he said about balance may apply to the copyright component of this omnibus bill, but if very specifically does not apply to the technical measures component of this bill which enable the circumvention by keyholders of many laws including contract, e-commerce, property, competition, trade and even copyright.

    His talk about free markets is laughable. Allowing keyholders to circumvent the very rules which allow free markets to exist in the first place is a massive government intervention in the marketplace. Abrogating their responsibility to protect owners rights can not be confused as letting the market decide.

  4. Russell McOrmond says:

    On the other hand: Jesse Brown
    Separate thought: I disagree with how Jesse and others are characterizing the time-delayed/destruction provisions.

    Currently the law doesn’t allow these unauthorized uses at all, which can be characterized as a “0 day destroy” provision (AKA: don’t create, distribute, etc this material at all).

    Bill C-11 creates a 30-day window within which permission is not required, after which the use must be licensed or destroyed.

    I can see that some might like these activities to become a fair dealings exception to copyright, and I might be one of these people (Note: I disagree with institutional exceptions ) . I just disagree with the characterization that the C-11 provisions in this area are more restrictive than the status quo.

  5. Hope?
    Do we have any hope of seeing this part of the bill reconsidered? It certainly seems as though any discussion of this is moot. In most of the population’s minds this must seem like a trivial aspect of a large bill. It seems like it is a little too cerebral an issue to generate the kind of populist backlash that UBB did.

  6. A note from a great man 80 years ago.
    “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding, to declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means, to declare the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal would bring terrible retribution.” – Justice Louis Brandeis

    Olmstead v. United States (1928) – Right of privacy

    A no words say it better.

  7. Moore gives voting advice?
    I’m sure the Pirate Party of Canada is delighted with the public support it’s receiving from James Moore. Step 1 is getting your name out, followed by your platform in step 2.

    It would be interesting to see a more fundamental discussion with James Moore regarding modernization of copyright and related issues in the current third wave of the digital age and especially on what the “Public Domain” is and what is should or could be, of course not at all in the light of international ‘obligations’.

    As a side note, here’s an interesting “Opinion on the compatibility of ACTA with the European Convention on Human Rights & the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights” by Prof. Korff and Ian Browne.

  8. MSM coverage?
    If only this issue (or rather the rebuttal) got more mainstream media coverage…These are all important points on an important debate…

  9. Lies, Lies and more Lies!! Moore is so full of it!!! It is refreshing to actually have someone come out and admit publicly that parts of this legislation will out-rightly be ignored.

  10. Wait wait wait… WHY are there no provisions requiring copyright holders to put a big fat stciker on media that has a lock on it stating tha “you as a cosnumer are in fact not purcashing an item like you have before but in fact are now leasing it”

    So what provisions are there in this bill when my DRM’s games, music, videos, and fridge are turned off one day because the DRM server goes down or the company doesn’t want to support the DRM servers.

    >At 15:50, Moore restates something he said at the press conference: “piracy should be illegal in Canada and right now it’s not.

    WTF were all Canadians paying the blank recordable media leve all these year for? So I can download music for personal use legally.

    I certain breaking copyrights in still illegal in Canada and punishible by current laws.

    Major issue here is most media outlets will not report on these glaring lies and manipulations by our elected officials so the “average” Canadian wont know whats going on unless you’re into reading sites like SLashdot and this site.

    Maybe we need a DRM’d media mail in protest. Create a dvd of all the lies that weare spewed by anyone connected with this bill, let people download it, burn it and send it to Mr Moore’s office.

  11. Piracy is illegal
    Piracy – the act of hikacking a ship on the open seas is legal in almost all jurisdictions on the planet. Seriously, a copyright law should be using the term either, its a term that only furthers the impression of evil doing for file sharing and downloading. I look forward to becoming official a criminal when I rip a DVD when C-11 passes.

    Makes me think, perhaps a DVD-ripping demonstration on Parliament Hill? I’d love to see the first case blow up in their face.

  12. ^^
    …*shouldn’t* be using the term “piracy”

  13. free market?
    If the government is getting out of the way of the market, then why are they protecting the rights of the sellers instead of the rights of the Canadian people? Why do the digital locks need protecting? It seems to me that they are getting behind the market and screwing over the people who want to actually own something they pay for. With the current law, any business is granted the right to be evil and by taking advantage of this option, they are granted the right to the new business model of litigation. The innocent would pay more in lawyers fees than settling out of court for the chance to be proven innocent. If the government was truly getting out of the way, there would be no rights given to either side.. also known as the “let god sort’em out” approach.. because hey, that’s why we have a government. If we’ve learned anything in the last several years from the markets, it’s that corporations are all about the bottom line.

  14. Reading through tnhe CBC website I found this little diddy.

    >Incorporate legally acquired copyrighted content into their own user-generated work, as long as it’s not for commercial gain and does not negatively impact the markets for the original material or the artist’s reputation. An example would be the posting of your own mash-up of a Lady Gaga song and, say, a Beyoncé number on YouTube.

    >Use copyrighted content for the purposes of education, satire or parody. This expands what is known as the fair dealing provisions of the existing law — which until now covered only research, private study, criticism and news reporting.

    Umm don’t these two cancel each other out. I can make my own user ganerated parody using parts from DVD’s I bought unless those dvd’s have a lock on them at which point it all stop right there.

    Now I somehow got my hands on some “legal” media and made a parody mocking Celine, now I’m not alloed to use it as its encroaching on the artists reputation and could affect the markets. Say goodbye to comedy about music and movies stars?

  15. Concerned Citizen says:

    When I borrow an e-book from my public library, it is time-limited and I must either let it disappear or re-borrow it after 21 days. Would you characterize that as book-burning? If so, I wonder how you justify using such an ugly term for what is essentially the return of borrowed material.

  16. RE: becoming official a criminal when I rip a DVD when C-11 passes.
    This will make more people a criminal than the government perhaps realizes. How many people copy a DVD they LEGALLY own to their iPod or iPad or other similar device so they can watch it on-the-go or when in a hotel? It makes playing DVDs on Linux illegal because it breaks the encryption. It makes all-in-one media players, such as VLC, illegal for the same reason. Out of region movies will become illegal to import, even if that movie or version has never been released here as will the region-free players required to view them.

    Here’s an example of the depth of stupidity here. If it’s never been released here (i.e. Unlicensed), such as many foreign movies and say uncensored copies maybe only released in Germany. Under the Berne Convention I can legally download those or even opt to legally buy a “copy” from one who provides such services…such as Video Screams. So WHY should it be illegal for me to import it? C-11 isn’t even consistent with international law.

  17. require signed contract with customer
    @end user – I’ll go you one better, there should be a requirement *every time* someone buys a CD, DVD, etc for that customer to read and sign a licensing agreement. If we don’t actually own the dohickey we’re buying and are merely licensing it, then we should be forced to acknowledge that. Let’s see how bricks & mortar stores enjoy having to have to enforce that.

    OTOH, if I do not sign a licensing agreement for my newly purchased DVD, how can anyone say that I do NOT own it outright to do with it as I please?

  18. Liam, after a fashion, the digital lock is like the deadbolt on your residence, since both are used to protect the property (“intellectual” in the case of a digital lock, real for the deadbolt) on the other side of it. Would you be OK with it being legal to break the deadbolt on your residence to gain access to your real property, even if nothing was taken?

    At the end of the day, the government of the day can’t favour the rights of one group over another; to do so invites a court challenge. An article I saw in the Globe and Mail on this bill basically said that the bill was a decent one since there is no one who is happy with it, in that there is no group who got everything that they wanted.

    With respect to the destruction requirement (book-burning, although that would be the wrong term since book-burning generally implies that it is being done to prevent the spread of ideas that some group finds offensive), I personally see no problem with it. This encourages the student AND instructor to go out and support the copyright holder (notice I did not say here author) if the work is found to be useful to them. In fact, the so-called “book-burning” clause means that I am less discriminated against by the copying provision, in that as neither a student nor instructor I don’t have the right to make a copy. It also reinforces the fact to the student that, once they leave academia and reach the real world they don’t have such a privilege, something that in my experience had been neglected by the institution.

    At the end of the day, the free market will decide, and in fact has decided, on the use of digital locks. So long as one half of the equation, the consumers, are willing to purchase only works that do not have a digital lock on them then the use of the locks by the other half (the companies) will drop as the revenues fall. For this to work, however, the consumer must be aware of the lock prior to purchase and on this one “end user” is correct that the package needs to have a warning on it.

  19. “WTF were all Canadians paying the blank recordable media leve all these year for? So I can download music for personal use legally.”
    Incorrect… its designated purpose was to compensate Canadian artists for personal use copies. That it also appears to legalize downloads for personal use is an inference from that (and at least one judge agreed with that inference), but not the specific intent of the levy. Once C-11 passes, there’s a pretty good chance that the levy will also disappear (since Canadians won’t really be able to enjoy personal copying privileges on most works without permission from the publisher anyways). This will have the (probably intended) side effect of making the downloading of unauthorized works definitely illegal in Canada.

    There may be other ways to accomplish this than outright prohibiting all copying of any digitally locked works, even for private purposes (I had personally suggested one such alternative during the public copyright consultation a couple of years back, because I don’t personally think it’s a healthy thing for the integrity of copyright to permit even personal use copies of works that are already infringing on copyright), but the Conservatives seem entirely uninterested in any alternative approaches.

  20. @Anon-K
    “Would you be OK with it being legal to break the deadbolt on your residence to gain access to your real property, even if nothing was taken?”

    This is a stretch. Breaking a lock on a DVD, Game, book or anything else you legally purchased, does not have the same privacy implications as break and enter. These are entirely different things. One should strictly be a licensing issue between consumer and producer, the other a felony handled by the police.

  21. …clarification…
    There are no privacy implications involved with breaking a digital lock on legally purchased content…it’s all about licensing and control. Someone breaking your deadbolt and entering your house has all kinds of privacy and personal safety implications…it’s all about personal gain and inciting fear.

  22. Anon-K

    >Would you be OK with it being legal to break the deadbolt on your residence to gain access to your real property, even if nothing was taken?


    I sold someone a car and then I walked into the house with the keys and locked the dead bolt. The car buyer is liek WTF? I tell him that I only sold him “the car” but it should have been up to him to ask if he could drive the car outside of my parking lot. Now in order for me to let him use the car on the road but “only to drive it to work” he has to pay extra for the drive to and from work set of keys.

    See for me being old enough and most of the time not gullible enough to consume everything that my peers think is the cool thing of the day I know not to purchase from companies that label me a criminal if I do something in my house with an item I “bought” that they don’t approve of. The problem is a HUGE portion of the population doesn’t know what is happening or even cares.

    Part of what I see here is the gov trying to help out the corporations with training younger people to acccept the notion that what you buy can only be used one way, is only licensed to you and you need to re-purchase that item to use it in a different way then the manufacturer wants you to.

    Best thing about this bill and the “Harper Government” is has really opened my eyes and want to get my Canadian citizenship ASAP. I know I’m only one vote but at least I don’t have to sit there and think that I didn’t at least try to make a change.

  23. Should add that if there was a big fat sticker on the car explaining what the sale consisted of then its “Buyer Be Ware” as we have it currently and in the foreseeable future there are no warrning label requirements.

    Now you could say but everyone knows what a car sale is and keeping the keys is robbery, well so is making me and the rest of Canada crimianls because in our homes we want to format shift our DVD’s/Cd’s so we can play it on a Netbook or some tablet that has no DVD player.

  24. Stickers
    They should be required to have stickers. Back in the 80’s stickers were required to let people know when content of a CD was censored…this is far worse.

  25. HELL, permanent labels are required to let people know there’s offensive content these days…as if I can’t deduce Cannibal Corpse might have offensive lyrics.

  26. Could their purposes be the opposite?
    Is it possible that the Conservatives don’t like digital locks either but they had to appease the media industry so they introduced a bill so flawed it is sure to be struck down?

  27. “Moore engage in a discussion on digital locks, with Moore turning to the claim that the government isn’t imposing digital locks, that the free market should work,”

    “Free market” means there’s no regulation. If you want to see “free market” in action then just repeal the existing copyright law and watch “free market” at work.

  28. Anon-K, Breaking a digital lock isn’t like breaking into another persons house. It’s like someone selling you a house and keeping the keys. I think in that case, it should be legal to remove the lock to use your home.

  29. time limits
    Thank goodness this government is “time limited”.

  30. People are still trying to compare tangible and intangible assets to justify the Minister’s stubborn view on the digital lock trumping fair use; cute, but they are not the same. He’s a skilled minister alright – at answering questions about flaws in the bill with run-around, scripted answers.

  31. “At the end of the day, the free market will decide, and in fact has decided, on the use of digital locks.”
    The only way that would be true would be if every work was sold in both a DRM version & a non-DRM version, both marked as such visibly & obviously, in the same space. (side by side)

    Something tells me if that was actually the case, DRM would be passed over almost every time. “Free market” my #@%.

  32. Imaginary property
    “Intellectual property” provides an analogy that only goes so far. “Imaginary property” makes more sense. There is nothing physical about imaginary property, and none of the metaphors of scarcity apply.

    For all intents and purposes, copies don’t cost anything except electricity, and that cost is shouldered by netizens who are rehashing it at a billion bytes a second. The original cost associated with creating a specific pattern of bits, as far as I’m concerned, should be governed by contract law.

    Contracts have always been enough to ensure author’s are remunerated fairly, if they are used. The problem is that, as someone else said, noone would sign a contract for a CD and retailers know it. If EULAs mattered, Microsoft would go out of business tomorrow and Facebook would be a ghost town. Doing the “right” thing would definitely change the landscape, but contracts are the right solution. Everything else erodes the real meaning of “property” as we are seeing happen in this bill.

    Copying (and vicariously, file sharing, and “copy-paste crime”) is not relevant to the debate, and I agree with JJ that there are many who don’t think filesharing should be a crime. My mother told me to share.

    I’m also OK with author’s leaning on contracts for “protection” (to use Mr Geist’s phrasing) if it is deemed necessary.

    These ideas can coexist without this monstrosity of legislation.

  33. What I cannot help but find interesting is that whenever the Conservatives seem to be challenged on the points that Mister Geist has raised here, they always simply restate their position on the issue, as if saying it over and over again will somehow make them more right, rather than actually addressing the issues that are being pointed out to them. It’s almost like they are robots, not actually intelligently considering what is being said to them, but only responding with certain default answers which actually do nothing to further their credibility, and create an even stronger impression that no serious thought was put into this bill outside of satisfying some agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with what is good for Canada and Canadians.

  34. Un-Trusted Computing says:

    “What I cannot help but find interesting is that whenever the Conservatives seem to be challenged on the points that Mister Geist has raised here, they always simply restate their position on the issue, as if saying it over and over again will somehow make them more right, rather than actually addressing the issues that are being pointed out to them.”

    A lie repeated often enough becomes truth –Karl Marx


  35. @Gary: Sure you should share… but is it right to share what doesn’t belong to you in the first place? You suggest copying costs nothing except the electricity used to make the copy – but this is not true, unless you are a proponent for the utter dissolution of copyright. Copyright is supposed to be a (time limited) exclusive right of the creator of the work to determine who else has the right to copy that work. This exclusivity is offered as incentive to the creator to publish the work without the looming concern that somebody else could misappropriate his or her hard work. When other people copy the work without permission, by definition of the word “exclusive” some portion of the copyright holder’s exclusivity is being lost to them. That this exclusivity is intangible does not diminish the fact that it can be of an objectively quantifiable value. Copyright is ultimately a social contract – an agreement between society and creators to respect the creator’s legally acknowledged rights for the duration of the copyright as further incentive for the creator to produce more works and distribute them. If society does not respect that right, a substantial incentive for the creator to publish in the first place is removed. The sometimes used argument that there may exist substantial alternative sources of creative works from people who would not expect such exclusivity is something of a red herring, and overlooks the fact that the signal to noise ratio in such circumstances is often quite poor.

    @UTC: No… it doesn’t become truth. At best it might only become more believed. But just because something is believed, does not make it true… and those who can retain scientific objectivity will be able to always see that.

  36. Mark: “they always simply restate their position on the issue, as if saying it over and over again will somehow make them more right, rather than actually addressing the issues that are being pointed out to them”

    Lol. You have to check the press conferences in Washington. There they have perfected it to a form of art to give long, elaborate answers that don’t actually address any question.

  37. Lock Homer!
    Poor artists and creators are starving:

    We need more locks!

  38. Starving artists
    Ok, so every time we debate copyright, we hear from various organizations that we need tough laws and lock to protect “starving artists”.

    And we have indeed on one hand these guys that wouldn’t consider earning any less than $4 millions per year (see previous post), and on the other hand the buskers trying to make ends meet and pay the rent at the end of the month.

    So here’s a question for Mr. Moore, one that’s not in his standard list:

    How exactly will C-11, and especially the part about locks, help the buskers?

  39. @Napalm: the only people that the part about locks helps is the content creator who can exert more influence in where and when you can copy (and in some cases, simply utilize) the work.

  40. @Mark:

    You mean those with pockets deep enough that they actually can afford to produce recordings, and on top of them pay licenses to the producers of DRM mechanisms? Not the buskers?

    So why are the “starving artists” mentioned at all in these discussions? They’re busking. Performing live. There are no recordings to copy or protect.

  41. @Mark:
    Wrong content creators usually sing contracts with content distributors that makes them (the distributors) owners of the copy right work. So it is the distributors who will benefit from the locks (more money in their pocket) while the authors will see no benefit at all. And the consumers will lose.

  42. @Mark
    Mark, yes, this is about a change to the social contract.

    C-11 changes the nature of the unspoken sales arrangement for consumers and may even retroactively remove rights in anything with a technological anti-circumvention measure.

    If I recall correctly, some iPhones need a “pentalobe” screwdriver. Is that also a technological measure? If I buy one before this passes, would the special screws qualify as a “reasonable technological measure” if it were to pass? Would it be illegal to open my iPhone to replace the battery the day after it passed? Is my iPhone worth less to me, and everyone else, in that hypothetical situation? I would think such situations should be protected by basic consumer protection laws, but it isn’t clear that they aren’t possible or even probable under C-11.

    The bill supposedly gives consumers clarity in what has been claimed to be a grey area but, unbeknownst to the consumer, if something contains (even trivial) anti-circumvention “technology” (or maybe just trivial to anyone with a CS degree), you are effectively bound by whatever the copyright holder chooses to impose on you, irrespective of any contract, consumer rights, or legally-authorized expectations since it would be illegal for you to circumvent it. Think of it as one of those open-ended “we can amend this however and whenever we feel like it” lines, only this one would get royal assent. If the author included DRM, and decided to remove a feature a year later (the ability to remove commercials from a PVR, for example), you have no practical recourse. You may not have the right to return the item after that time, and while you may have rights under other agreements, you may not be able to exercise them due to the DRM.

    I think both would be negative additions to our social contract and I see no reason to step willingly into that kind of mess.

    This debate generally orbits the music, movie, and software “industries”, in one way or another so I also want to say that, while everybody has to make a living, I do not feel beholden to preserving any industry as we know it today. If that means fewer Hollywood, big-budget deals, so be it. The world won’t end.

    Take the printing press, for example. Did the signal to noise ratio suffer? Absolutely. You can now buy pulp romance novels in the grocery checkout line. Did the world end? Certainly not.

    We won’t always buy the same things tomorrow that we do today and we shouldn’t expect to. People still buy hardcover books even though paperbacks and comics outnumber them, just not as many because the expense is high. Not many people would pay for a handwritten manuscript today though, but I don’t think many people would consider that a loss. The handwritten manuscript industry was completely replaced by something better.

    Similarly, the world will not end if big-budget movies are a niche market, or if software companies make money from support contracts or other models. Many MMO games capitalize on in-game features for example. The world will never suffer for lack of economic opportunity. This is simply about saving the sinking ship of our day… I am not causing the world to end by spending my free time on blogs and wikipedia instead of watching broadcast TV. I’m just living my life. It will be the same for future generations…

    But then I’m just one guy who thinks private property rights have got to trump publishing rights, and I also think it would be a “bad” thing if the world turned into a police state all because of “imaginary property”.

    Maybe I am anti-copyright. I don’t really see how we can have our cake (the Internet) and eat it too (limit copying).

    I have said that I do believe in contract law and I believe you can throw copyright out without throwing out contract law. I already boycott software with ridiculous EULAs.

  43. What about first sale doctrine?

    The funny thing is, in a digital world consumers rights are taken away. Could you imagine buying a text book at school and told you must destroy it and not allowed to sell it to another student?

    We’re all headed to a world where students will be made to buy digital products at $100 and up and told to destroy it or not allowed to share with someone.

  44. Oh, make no mistake about it… I utterly abhor the digital lock provisions of this bill. But I am a firm advocate of supporting the copyright holder’s rights, and I don’t have much tolerance for any copyright infringement, even if it is not done with any commercial intent.

    I equally support the consumer’s right to enjoy those works (for themselves) in whatever manner a person may find amenable, to the extent that the copyright holder’s legally acknowledged rights are not infringed. Making private use copies or otherwise copying within the scope of fair dealing are already well established types of actually copying of the work that do not actually infringe on the copyright holder’s rights, and I firmly advocate the consumers rights to continue to enjoy such activities. The *ONLY* way that circumventing digital lock provisions on copyrighted works actually impacts the copyright holder’s rights is when copyright is actually an infant.infringed upon, and so if Canada must have laws which offer legal support for such technological protection measures (because of treaties that Canada has obligation to), then it seems most reasonable to me to limit the illegal circumvention of digital locks to such circumstances (which is all that the aforementioned treaties actually require anyways).

    Of course, the conservatives appear to take such a position as implying that one is only interested in emasculating the bill, or trying to legalize piracy, or abandon copyright completely… and instead of responding to such a position intelligently and coherently, they merely repeat themselves, or simply rephrase what they have already said, offering nothing new in so doing that could hope to further persuade anyone with an intelligence above that of a toddler.

  45. @dale847 “We’re all headed to a world where students will be made to buy digital products at $100 and up and told to destroy it or not allowed to share with someone.”

    This is the real reason for those who push greater creator ‘rights’ want more control, it’s not to ‘stop piracy’ (as if it ever could) but rarher to limit accepted behavior in the analog world, such as sharing a book, to exist in the digital realm. This is essentially the removal of consumer rights for the benefit of content industry, and not nessasarily the creators themselves.

    You will still hear of course creators crying they are being taken advantage of, well if so it’s not by any ‘free culture’ person I know, instead they should read their contracts a little closer.

  46. Boomchair
    Hey great blog man
    I recently got into the whole Gaming Chairs Online thing too. I couldn’t quite work out what all the fuss was about until I tried out my friend’s Lumisource Boomchair at Christmas. I think every self-respecting gamer should get a gaming chair that suits them. There are hundreds out there. It will make you a better gamer … guaranteed!
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  47. …Gaming…
    Here’s and example…
    I knew a guy who worked for BioWare. The public stance was that they wanted digital locks to stop piracy (…and cheating. LOL). In secret back-room meetings it was a different story. They see digital locks as a means to limit second-hand sales. Think about it. Most PC games and many console games require an Internet connection. NOW with protection of digital locks, they can have the PC or console send activation information to a central server, so that effectively the game can only be activated and/or used on a single system. No resales…no lending…circumventing it becomes illegal. Personally, I think this will increase piracy, as it did with Bioshock, but that’s just my opinion. I ran a cracked version of Bioshock simply because it was WAY WAY WAY more stable that my DRM crippled version. Of course, some companies are already using such techniques, which is their prerogative, but there are currently no laws preventing anyone from circumventing the protections.

  48. Richard M Stallman says:

    The term “digital locks” fails to express what is bad about Digital
    Restrictions Management. The lock on your home or your car does you
    no harm since it is under your control. But DRM is a lock placed on
    you to harm you, and you cannot have the key.

    What other lock is used on people that way? Handcuffs! Thus,
    “digital handcuffs” is the right way to talk about them.

    Sharing is good; sharing copies of any published work must be legal.
    DRM should be banned.

  49. @RMS: DRM cannot be realistically banned… certain international treaties obligate several nations, Canada included, to offer some level of legal protection for technological protection measures which might be utilized by copyright holders. It might seem all well and good to be all indignant about it and say that we should just bloody well rip those treaties up, but if you are capable of looking at the situation realistically, you will realize that front is a long lost battle already… and wasting energy fighting on that point only takes time and energy that could be better spent trying to mitigate the damages it causes.

    It is worth noting that these aforementioned treaties do not mandate that copyright holders utilize any digital locks, only that some legal protection explicitly exist for those measures. However, there is absolutely *NO* reason, even within these treaties, that such protections should extend to the point that perfectly lawful use is ever negatively impacted, which is what this bill definitely does, and rightfully should be strongly opposed.

    Anyways, proposing a wholesale ban on the utilization of any DRM is not going to discourage big media companies from wanting to utilize it… and will only cause them to continue to lobby for laws that offer them the protections they want. The *ONLY* thing that will discourage them from wanting to utilize it is when they are actually entirely free to utilize DRM if they want to, and discover for themselves that it is not actually beneficial to their longer term goals.

    Of course, that can only happen if consumers retain fair dealing privileges, even with the presence of such locks, which is something I am very heavily in support of.

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  52. Boomchair
    Portal 2 is MORE about learning new stuff every level than the original. My point was it feels more like a training exercise than a game, sometimes.
    Thanks for post.