The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 47: Queen’s University

The copyright views of Canadian universities are typically represented by the AUCC, but several universities have made their own views known.  For example, Queen’s University provided its own submission to the 2009 national copyright consultation. It said the following about digital locks:

Protection of digital locks must not impede users’ rights.

Quoting from a book or a newspaper is established fair dealing, and it ought to follow that quoting from a digital file would constitute fair dealing too. If such fair dealing is prevented by digital locks, and those are given an extra level of legal protection, scholars and students will only be able to engage with an increasingly limited portion of the world around us. Courses will become removed from the cultural context of the times; critique and creativity will be stymied. Teachers, students, and researchers need to be permitted to show and recontextualize clips from digital media, or sequences of software code, just as they were in the analog age permitted to copy “fairly” for purposes of criticism, review, research, or private study. The Supreme Court stated in CCH v. LSUC (2004) that “the fair dealing exception is… an integral part of the Copyright Act… Any act falling within the fair dealing exception will not be an infringement of copyright. The fair dealing exception, like other exceptions in the Copyright Act, is a user’s right.” The prevention of fair dealing with digital locks would thus be not only a major threat to innovation and teaching, but a a major distortion of the Copyright Act as understood by our highest Court.

Previous Daily Digital Locks: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) BC, Canadian Consumer Initiative, Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Council of Archives, Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Documentary Organization of Canada, Canadian Library Association, Council of Ministers of Education Canada, Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright, Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Canadian Historical Association, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Canadian Bookseller Association, Canadian Home and School Federation, Film Studies Association of Canada, Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Appropriation Art, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives, Canadian Association of Law Libraries, Federation Etudiante Universitaire du Quebec, Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres, Canadian Association of Media Education Associations, Association of Canadian Community Colleges, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Association pour l’avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation (ASTED), Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, CIPPIC, Canadian Association of University Teachers, City of Vancouver Archives, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres for Alternate Format Materials, Canadian Political Science Association, British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, The Canadian Association for Open Source, Literary Press Group of Canada, Writers Guild of Canada, Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia, Association of Canadian Publishers, Campus Stores Canada, New Brunswick Public Library Service, Digital Security Coalition, Battlegoat Studios

One Comment

  1. It really doesn’t matter how many people object… nor does it matter who. They are not obligated to achieve compromise even an iota on C-11’s unreasonable digital lock provisions, and I do not expect that they will.

    They don’t even need to worry about it making them particularly unpopular with voters because most people are liable to be completely ignorant of the existence of this bill, let alone realize what its ramifications are.

    And in my experience, even trying to educate people on the matter is like preaching to stones… they simply do not care because they do not perceive that it will affect them in any measurable way. I’ve observed that even the fact that it might become against the law to do something perfectly reasonable like copy a song to your ipod if it happens to have a digital lock on it is of little concern to most people – they either steadfastly believe that it would not actually come to that, or they will go ahead and break the law anyways when the law makes what they feel are unreasonable demands. Considering the conservatives have stated that people aren’t going to be liable for breaking encryption for private use (although the tools they might use for accomplishing the act would still be outlawed), there is little compelling reason for the average person to care about this, which assures that the Conservative’s popularity will not be significantly affected by this decision.