The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 52: Ontario Council of University Libraries

With Parliament set to break for the holidays later today, the daily digital lock dissenter will break as well.  I’ll resume the series once Parliament returns in late January.

The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) represents the 21 public university libraries in Ontario, serving a community of about 400,000 full time students and professors. OCUL provided a submission to the 2009 national copyright consultation that stated the following about digital locks:

Digital locks can prevent users from interacting with copyright materials in ways that are perfectly legal in themselves. Copyright law must not make it illegal to circumvent a digital lock in order to use a copyrighted item for purposes that do not infringe copyright. To satisfy WIPO treaty obligations, it is sufficient that copyright law afford protection to digital locks only to penalize the breaking of digital locks for infringing purposes.
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, Queen’s University, Canadian Urban Library Council, Union des consommateurs, ACTRA, Canadian Music Creators Coalition


  1. “that stated the following about digital locks:”

    C’mon, please don’t keep us in suspense for that long!

  2. SOPA
    Isn’t all this debate on copyright here and other countries useless now since America will probably pass SOPA which will be able to get rid of all the site with copyright material?

  3. “Copyright law must not make it illegal to circumvent a digital lock in order to use a copyrighted item for purposes that do not infringe copyright.”

    Of course it must not… but what can anyone do about it now? Maybe it’s just me, but every letter I’ve written on the matter to my MP has gone unanswered, and for all I know, unread. One email I sent to the Conservative committee in Ottawa on the matter was answered, but their response was more of a form letter highlighting the so-called benefits of the bill rather than something that actually addressed anything that I said. There’s only so much you can do before you feel like anything you can try that isn’t actually illegal is going to be a simple waste of time.

  4. What is SOPA, C-11 and like legislation are ultimately going to achieve? Nothing!!! The US might use SOPA to block “”, but it’s much more difficult to block “” without getting in to true censorship and even if they block the IP, all Pirate Bay has to do at this point is change it’s IP address. The more the industry alienates their so-called consumers, through government pressure and resulting laws and litigation, the more willingness there will be to turn to underground sources, which will always exist. Restrictive DRM and laws are toxic to consumers, will never help sales and will never stop piracy…if anything, they increase piracy. I will NEVER buy DRM locked music…EVER!!! If I cannot get it DRM free, I will get it elsewhere or choose another band. I will rip my own DVDs and crack games I purchase as I see fit…PERIOD. No amount of SOPA or C-11 will affect that.

    Think about it…had the industry invested those billions of dollars spent on litigation and lobbying in to new technologies in to new technology and consumer research, they would be in a vastly better position.