Can You Hear Us Now?

The second reading debate on Bill C-11 will conclude today with the bill headed to committee for further hearings and possible amendment. Yesterday, the Globe published an opinion piece by Peter Nowak that juxtaposes the widespread consultation on copyright reform in Canada with digital lock provisions that “wilfully ignores” public opinion. Nowak notes how the U.S. ultimately responded to public concern in stopping SOPA, while the same appears to be happening in Europe as protests over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continue to grow (there are continent-wide protests planned for February 11th).

One of my posts this week focused on concerns that Industry Minister Christian Paradis has said he cannot speculate on how Bill C-11’s digital lock rules will be enforced. The post identifies numerous examples of how the rules could harm creators, students, researchers, consumers, and even the visually impaired (further background information on Bill C-11 here and here). Yet these concerns are not new and have been raised for several years. Indeed, it is instructive to see how the public concern over the digital lock rules and now possible inclusion of SOPA-style amendments has mushroomed over the years.

According to documents recently obtained under the Access to Information Act, Industry Canada received thousands of letters of concern about Bill C-61, the 2008 copyright reform bill, the overwhelming majority of which focused on digital lock concerns. Just one month after the bill was tabled, the government had tracked over 27,000 letters and emails. In fact, the message on digital locks predated Bill C-61 as the public outrage over possible DMCA-style rules was already coming through loud and clear. The categorization of the letters is particularly noteworthy as digital locks were the dominant issue with few Canadians writing to express support for the government’s approach.

A year later, the government held its national copyright consultation. It generated enormous public interest with over 8,000 submissions. A full summary of the responses reveals that digital locks were once again the dominant public concern.

Fast forward to the 2012 as the public outrage over SOPA effectively kills that bill, while in Europe tens of thousands take to the streets to protest ACTA. Over the past two weeks, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Latvia have all suspended plans to ratify the agreement and this morning Germany indicated even signing the agreement is on hold. Canadians have yet to take to the streets (though some rallies are now planned for cities across the country) but they are speaking out in unprecedented numbers. On Wednesday night, I moderated a panel on lawful access that included participation from NDP MP Charlie Angus. He advised that he has received over 50,000 emails of concern over Bill C-11 in the past couple of weeks, at times receiving upwards of 400 emails per minute. Liberal MP Geoff Regan also raised the 50,000 figure in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The public opinion on Bill C-11 is clear. The majority support reform on two key conditions. First, no SOPA-style amendments such as website blocking or expanded liability should be added to Bill C-11. Second, the digital lock rules should be balanced by linking circumvention to actual copyright infringement. This approach provides legal protection for digital locks and is compliant with the WIPO Internet treaties. The compromise is broadly supported not only by individual members of the public but also by both major opposition parties, business groups, creator associations, consumer groups, and education associations.

Canadians have been speaking out on copyright reform in general and digital locks in particular for years with widely held views that reflect Canadian sensibilities about balancing protections and consumer property rights. The numbers keep growing and will continue to do so. If you have yet to speak out, write, email or tweet at the ministers and your MP providing your views on Bill C-11, now is the time to do so. If you are following the anti-ACTA rallies this weekend or tracking the C-11 debate in the House of Commons and wondering what you can do, write, email or tweet once more, asking Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, Industry Minister Christian Paradis and your Member of Parliament: can you hear us now?


  1. I email my MP, Mr. Moore and Mr. Paradis again over the copyright bill. It should be interesting to see what, if any response, I get this time around. Will it be something that addresses my concerns, or the copy/paste reply that tells me nothing I didn’t already know and already disagree with?

  2. Andrew Butash says:

    Oh they can hear us, alright…
    The question is will they listen to us? So far the answer is a resounding “no”. I’ve been absolutely flabbergasted at the breathtakingly pigheaded stubbornness James Moore has displayed when confronted with criticisms of the digital lock rules in C-11. I’m so stupefied that I’m using giant words to describe it. Saying that James Moore has his head firmly stuck in the sand regarding this issue is the understatement of the decade so far.

    The most frustrating part is that he doesn’t have to listen. They have a majority. They can, and probably will, just pass the damn bill without listening to anyone. Our only hope at this point looks to be a constitutional challenge on the basis that making the digital lock rules completely divorced from actual copyright infringement moves into property law, which is the domain of the provinces. I hope the activist groups like Open Media are ready to take this up if and when C-11 gets passed. I know I’ll be right behind them.

  3. with circumvention linked to infringement, what’s the point?
    So I keep hearing this “linking circumvention to copyright infringement” as being an approach to balancing C-11.

    So that means than anyone who wants access to any media for any non-infringing activities should be able to break the locks in order to maintain this so-called balance.

    That then further assumes that anyone interested in circumventing a lock while still being copyright compliant will be able to *easily* and freely do so. After-all, If they are not, then the balance has not been struck.

    So will lock breaking tools be freely available and distributable? I never hear mention of this in these discussions of the “Canadian DMCA”. Such tools are most certainly not in the US’ version of it.

    This is the bait and switch of this so-called “balance”: As long as you don’t infringe, feel free to break the lock — if you can find the tools to do so. And good luck with that because the research, development and distribution of such tools will be illegal.

    This is the answer to the question of “why even bother with the digital locks if they are allowed to be broken for balance?”.

    Even with this so-called balance, the lock-applying media giants will still have the upper hand.

    It is nothing more than a sham to allow the breaking of locks for non-infringing accesses and yet make the development and distribution of the lock breaking tools illegal — as the US DMCA so aptly demonstrates.

  4. “linking circumvention to actual copyright infringement”
    Then why introduce digital lock rules at all then? Leave it out completely. The less (pointless) words a law contains the better. It’s as if *something* must be compromised, one side wants badly digital locks rules in there let’s give them that. I prefer complete common sense than compromising on allowing even a bit of nonsense in the law. Digital lock rules are nonsense if after all *only* the copyright infringement matters.

  5. git yer monopoly here!
    that’s right, the admin-division of the harper set ( known as the harpy killers) is auctioning off rights and freedoms again. NEW low prices! All liberties, freedoms, privilege and prerogatives must go!

    med-pot! copy-right measures! Permits to put YOUR toxic waste into the required food chain!

    With unratified international treaties to back you up!

    Vote with your wallet! Connect with powerful cannibals!

    Whats left of your kids will THANK you for enslavening them!


  6. @Brian: Indeed… in fact, the notion of simply suggesting linking circumvention to infringement in C-11 could even be entirely counterproductive, as they could simply define an entirely new class of copyright infringement as being the circumvention of such protections, which would meet the literal requirements as stated by the precise language used, but in fact is diametrically the opposite of the kinds of changes that are really being asked for in C-11 by Mr. Geist and others.

    I’d rather hope that both of those loopholes are adequately plugged in any formal recommendations made to amend the bill, or we could easily end up with something that is just as harmful.

  7. Jamal Brankston - Penticton - CANADA says:

    Quick…To the Bat Cave (err…IPOsgoode)
    Degen, Sookman and the like: Here is another clear, succinct and factual post by @mgeist; respected Canada Research Chair, tenured professor at one of the most respected universities in Canada. THE authoritative voice on copyright in Canada and acclaimed Toronto Star columnist, etc, etc, etc…

    Better send up the bat signal ASAP and direct it towards Austin/L.A. so that Castle bumps his tired, irrelevant, inaccurate, laughable, trifling and inconsequential ‘The Geist in the Machine’ post from yesteryear.

    “That’ll learn them” they will exclaim from the hallowed halls of Osgoode as they return to their twitter consoles and blog consoles with replete diabolical laughs!

  8. @Brian
    Using a digital lock is the prerogative of the producer, it always has. Breaking the digital lock should be allowed for otherwise non-infringing uses. How invasive the digital lock is is also up to the producer, but the more invasive the lock (Sony Rootkit briefly used on music CDs and original Bioshock game, for instance), the lower the sales will be because the press will be all over it and consumer acceptance will be low. But the use, strength and application of the lock should, and rightly so, be the prerogative of the producer. I have no problems at all against digital locks. The problem I have is making it illegal to break them when my intended use would otherwise be non-infringing.

    As for tools, just because breaking the locks might be legal, does not mean breaking the lock should be easy or even possible or that tools should readily be available to do so. The tools should not be illegal if the action is not illegal (Such as in the US, a clear bait and switch). That’s like saying guns should be illegal because their primary use is for killing or that bolt cutters should be illegal because they can cut locks and chains.

    Legal protection of that lock barring all other legal rights is where C-11 goes astray. Protection of digital locks, but only for infringing uses, still gives producers an extra tool in the fight against commercial infringement, but maintains a semblance of consumer/producer balance.

    There are even ways to use strict DRM and still maintain somewhat of a balance. Steam from the Valve corporation is a prime example. Their DRM is probably one of the strongest the world, but their business model revolves around a smooth and enjoyable the customer experience, NOT restrictions and certainly NOT law suits.

  9. Dear Minister Moore,
    As you no doubt are aware, the balance of copyright has been a major international story recently with SOPA in the USA and ACTA in the EU. In our own context, the passage of C-11 should take into account the shifting views of the public and our major economic partners. I am pleased with Bill C-11 as a whole and would be satisfied if an amendment were added to allow bypassing digital locks, if done so for legal purposes (the ones that are outlined in your very same bill). Without this consumer protection I feel the bill is very unbalanced.

    Further, with your governments admission and reluctance to enforce the bypassing of such locks for private use, I feel this will only lead to a greater disrespect for copyright and have an opposite effect than intended. Please take these points into consideration as you debate amendments to C-11 in committee.

    — My letter to Mr. Moore

  10. @IamME: I think you missed my point
    My point was entirely that there has been no discussion on the legality of developing, owning and distributing such tools (it really makes one wonder why, especially if one is the suspicious type) and that if the tools are not legal to develop, own, and distribute then the linking of circumvention to infringement is an empty victory and we might as well not bother.

    If I am just as easily going to be thrown in jail for accessing/having/distributing the tools to break the locks as I am for breaking the locks what are we fighting for here?

    We cannot just assume (as the US DMCA demonstrates to us) that simply having the right to break the locks for non-infringing use means that we will have the tools to break the locks.

    Any right to break locks must come with an explicit right to develop, use and distribute the tools to break them.

  11. @Brian
    Isn’t that what I said? LOL At least that was my intention. Sorry, if there was any confusion there. I was actually agreeing with you. 🙂

  12. Canada’s turn to show some backbone …

    Might be too late on us for ACTA, but take a hint on the winds of change and adjust C-11 to fit.

  13. Canadian not American says:

    Bill C…crap
    I have a few questions for you guys.

    When do you think this bill will pass final stage..before summer break or after? The pass of this will MPAA/RIAA go right after us and we’ll start seeing people sued all over Canada like crazy going to jail longer then some killers? 😉 Can we still stop this bill even though now it’s going to committee?

  14. Some guy on the internet says:

    Digital Locks
    For a digital lock to be at all effective (not trivially bypassed), it must be invasive. In the case of computers, it must assert control at the lowest level possible (kernel, hardware, etc.) to frustrate reverse engineering and circumvention. Otherwise it is a joke. To me, the infringing behavior is not the bypassing of digital locks but the imposition of them. Quite specifically, they limit certain actions and can be expanded to arbitrarily (or inadvertently) limit other activities completed unrelated to infringement. Read Doctorow’s stuff about the death of general purpose computing if you don’t get it. This is about control over your own property and you losing it. Sony rootkits aren’t the exception here, C-11 makes them the rule. You don’t like malicious software, you think the situation will improve when it becomes illegal to remove it?

  15. How about a compromise?
    Here’s the problem with “digital locks” – copyright exists for a *limited* time, but “digital locks” are a deliberate attempt by publishers to extend that time indefinitely.

    The use of “digital locks” should not be encouraged, but authors and publishers should be free to use them. As a compromise, I say that if publishers or authors choose to put a “digital lock” on something, it should be interpreted as an attempt to bypass the law, and that item should be ineligible for copyright protection.

    After all, if the “digital lock” was any use, they have no need of copyright protection.

  16. Another nail in the …

    The upshot of the report is this. ‘Piracy’ has no discernible effect on US movie sales and the largest contributor to decreased sales in emerging markets is delayed release (a tactic by studios meant to curb piracy).

    While I personally encourage everyone to pay for their media, one of the main arguments behind the recent SOPA/PIPA drafts (according to this academic study) appears to be void. Seems to be the ‘mindless misinformed mobs’ were right after all 😀

  17. Crockett: Whether or not copyright infringement causes any lost sales, or even if it actually contributes to sales is completely irrelevant. Both sides of the debate are frequently guilty of clouding the real issue with this matter. Copyright infringement harms the merits of copyright itself, and is problematic on that basis alone, regardless of any monetary compensation or lack thereof.

    The point of copyright is to offer some incentive to content creators to publish their works in the first place, while retaining some measure of the exclusivity they would have on deciding who could copy the work, where they actually would have had complete control over if they never published at all, or restricted publication to a very select group of people that could be held directly accountable to the content creator. Note that monetary compensation is utterly irrelevant – it is, and has always been, about control… absolute control that the creator would have had by default if they hadn’t published it at all – and again, the point of copyright is to offer the creator of the work at least some assurances that they will retain a reasonable measure of that exclusivity for a predetermined period.

  18. @Mark
    Copyright as it’s been known for a while is going to need to adapt. Chances are there will always be room for copyright so that creators can keep control to prevent use they don’t like. Copyright does not need to be removed, but the arguments that are being used to support it have been proven to be false (ie. piracy leading to loss in business). I’m sure that it’s lost some sales, but it’s also been shown to increase sales (at least with music).

    What will need to change is how they do business, because the old methods that relied on people not being able to easily and cheaply make copies doesn’t exist anymore. This means that creators have to be willing to give up some control on the content (which has worked for some) or they need to offer/use services that give them some more control but also give benefits to the consumer using it (ie. Steam, Netflix).

    Crafting overly protective and strict copyright laws to prop up the old way of doing business is not going to change this, and it’s not going to change people’s habits as has been shown everywhere that’s exacted strict copyright laws. What has been shown to decrease piracy is offering services that benefits the consumer as well as the creator.

  19. Mark, as Ki has expanded on, I am not one of those calling for the abolition of copyright, nor am I one who ‘wants everything for free’. There are some who paint opponents of increased copyright restrictions as free-loaders or wanting something for nothing. In my case, and in most of the others who post here, it is just not so. As I have often said, I gladly support artists I appreciate and do not take from those I may not, and I encourage everyone I know to do the same.

    What I and many others here do have to say though is the current business models no longer work and efforts to maintain them do more harm that good to consumers, but even more so to creators. There is generally great mistrust of the **AA style organizations, that they are in it for themselves rather than those they purport to represent.

    Of course it is all not as black and white as that. The new internet economic players now have their fingers in the pie and if allowed could end up as corrupt and self serving. This is why it is so important for the public, the ones it ultimately ends up affecting, to have a louder voice.

    I tire of hearing the heads of big content say the public just does not know what they are talking about or are just mindless puppets of groupthink, of course they know what is best. We live in an age of increased knowledge and vast access to information. People can, and should, be able to make their own decisions on who is feeding them a line, they are not as easily fooled as some suggest.

    I see hopeful signs that people are taking more notice on who and how their lives are being regulated by the corporate sector, sometimes it takes a jolt to wake people up to it though. Was the recent activism against SOPA/PIPA a ‘tsunami of misinformation’ as the head of the RIAA proclaims? I think not. He also said that ‘democracy seems to now work differently in the digital age’ … Why yes Sir, I suppose it does.

  20. Dwelling on the notion that piracy can be shown to sometimes cause an actual increase in sales completely misses the point. What *REALLY* matters is how widespread copyright infringement impacts copyright itself – because this is something that affects all copyright holders, everywhere, including those whose works are not being infringed upon, and in turn, it impacts society itself… which is who copyright was originally designed to actually benefit. The point of copyright was to offer a creator of a work a limited duration of exclusivity as incentive for them to publish their work and thereby share it with society, so that it might potentially enrich our culture. Meanwhile, of course, during this period of exclusivity, the creator may have opportunity to benefit financially, if their work is sufficiently in demand – but that is just a (arguably beneficial) side effect of the way exclusivity works with regards to supply and demand in a capitalistic society, and is not part of what copyright was actually ever designed to do.

  21. Agreed Mark, and in that regard I think copyright infringement should be opposed, policed and APPROPRIATE restitution sought. Where we may (or not) differ is in the level of those pursuits and what side effects might occur. As an obvious exaggeration, we could cavity search everyone who exits a store on the suspicion they pocketed a candy bar, but I think you would agree this would be an overuse of power and a violation of reasonable expectation of privacy and due process.

    Certainly creators should have control of their work and if they so wish (and as you say there is demand), should be able to profit from it. Copyright also should benefit society as a whole. With these goals in mind we should approach copyright in a way that it syncs with the new realities we face in the digital age. Is it possible to tweak it onto of the years of conventions already achieved? Possibly so, but care must be taken to meet the desires and expectations of all the stakeholders and not to just maintain a system that may not be optimal, just to benefit the incumbents.

    Of course none of this promises to be an easy task, there will be conflict and differing opinions as rights of one or another is weighed and a workable framework molded. Obviously, those who benefit most from the current system will fight the hardest to maintain it, but in the long run will that be best for creators and society both?

    Such things to consider are; incentives for creation, terms and length of copyright control, user rights, property rights, distribution systems, policing, appropriate restitution for infringement and I think most importantly a rebuilding of the mutual respect between the creator and the recipients of the works. People naturally feel good about and connected to the artists they enjoy, by encouraging that and dispensing of the adversarial atmosphere propagated by the **AA’s (and outright infringers), a brighter future for all could be achieved, at least I hope so.

  22. Balance….
    @Mark, Crockett, Ki

    I think you guys are asking the right questions. Same as I have been struggling with for a while. If I might add one more comment into the mix of questions you have presented:

    Mark is correct that copyright, as a principle, is intended to give the holder similar control of the works compared to not publishing/distributing the works at all. But this isn’t simply for the “rights of the holder”, it is an equitable granting of that right for the “good of society”.
    If anyone wants to argue that society hasn’t changed over the last 100, 50, or even 20 years, they are free to try. Likewise the “rights” of the copyright holders have continually grown in form and substance over that same time frame. We need to return to fundamental principles, and craft a new framework, and new balance.

    If you want to remove economics from the balancing equations, it might be appropriate to analyze the Creative Commons and GPL, and BSD licensed, works and models. They are the closest thing we have to a pure “principles of copyright” today.

    Unfortunately, economics does drive a lot of the debate, the form and substance, around copyright law. I’m not sure we can, or even want to, eliminate economics from the debate. Just place it in it’s proper perspective. In that sense, the “war of the numbers” is a minor side issue, but not totally irrelevant.

    Everybody knows that the internet has fundamentally impacted their outlook on the world and our society. What the SOPA/PIPA/ACTA protests have done, is point out to a great many people that there is a fundamental problem with the interaction between society and copyright in today’s world as well.
    In simple terms, the growth of digital technology and the internet has been adversely affecting copyright holders for years, along with with everyone else. Now general society is also seeing, in clear terms, that copyright law in it’s current form can also have an adverse effect on the internet – if they let it. They aren’t happy with these proposed laws, even if they haven’t come to terms with what form new ones should take. But it is certain that this is no longer just a lobbyist and economics driven political debate, it has entered the platform and ballot box level in a major way.
    The “debate” has changed dramatically. Now is a very appropriate time to be asking the very questions you are asking. A lot more people are listening – and thinking.

  23. New Technology
    It seems to me that any time that a new technology appears everyone states it is going to destroy any preexisting one. When cassette tapes arrived on the scene that was to be the end of the record companies. You could buy an album and make twenty tapes to give to your friends and yet the music industry still survived.Then when the VCR arrived it was to be the end of television and movies and yet here they are still complaining about yet another way their industry is going to collapse.
    Last year I wrote my MP about my concerns regarding the bill and received no reply. So then I sent a letter to my local paper and that woke him up and he replied in the paper with about as much knowledge about the bill as most politicians.

  24. says:

    YouTube video: SOPA insiders promoted file sharing/software
    I just watched the most amazing video on YouTube. 1.3 million views and rising fast as we speak. They have evidence that the same people who brought you SOPA also promoted illegal file sharing the the software that facilitates it – evidence that is patently obvious, that you can see and judge for yourself. Watch the video before it of pulled off the internet.

    Here is a shortened link in case that didn’t work:

  25. New Technology
    ..”It seems to me that any time that a new technology appears everyone states it is going to destroy any preexisting one.”

    There is no denying that new technology is disruptive to businesses and industries built upon older technologies. But it doesn’t destroy that older technology, it supplants it.

    It is a natural human tendency to want to be comfortable and certain about the future. The more successful you are, the stronger that tendency. Anything “new” reduces certainty. This applies to industries as well, or more accurately, to the most successful in those industries – the shapers and shakers.
    When a new technology arises that has the potential to turn everything they “know” upside down, they get very uncomfortable. The very basis for their success is undermined, and they start to worry that their future “success” is no longer assured. It takes a lot of work to “reinvent” yourself, never mind reinventing an industry. It can be done, and it has to be done, but success (personal or otherwise) isn’t assured. Depending on your personal views of yourself and your industry, you may feel it is better to spend your energy trying to restrict the impact, and disruption, of that new technology.
    History has shown that resistance to the disruption of such technologies has effectively zero chance of success. It will happen anyway, with or without your contribution, or resistance. But if you support and contribute to it, you can help shape the impact.

    I can’t fault the movers and shakers in the entertainment industry for being human. But I have to wonder about the qualifications needed to become successful in such an industry, if they consistently miss such an obvious historical conclusion. For that matter, what is it about the industry itself, that pushes such people to the top?

  26. DRM is a joke
    DRm just there to lock you down and have you buy the same item over and over.THE content owners are the problem.They bitch about piracy and want to lock us all down because the middle man is going to die out sooner or later in most media.But here the kicker they whine and whine over piracy but have no problem giving you the tools to do on on sub sites.IE viacom Owns CBS which in turn that owns cnet website and well they have no problem giving you bit-torrent,dvd ripper etc.

  27. geoff fenwick says:

    soon harper will outlaw opposition partys and declare himself the king, oh wait hes already cutting public funding to them…might take a real revolution to take this tyrant down

  28. Refactoring the law
    In any reasonably large software project, eventually it gets to a point where you need to step back and look at the whole picture, and re-design it. This arises over time as bugs are fixed and features are added and extended. Code is added or modified, sometimes in non-optimal places or forms, simply because there is no other place/way to do so. Over time, the project can resemble a house of cards, where any changes or feature additions are very difficult and can have wide range adverse side effects. Then it becomes time to step back and rethink the whole structure, organisation, and purpose, of the code.
    This is a process called refactoring. You look at every piece of code, asking:
    – What does this do?
    – Does it still serve it’s original purpose?
    – Is that purpose still valid?
    – Is it better to move it elsewhere, rewrite it, or eliminate it?
    The result is a restructured project that is better prepared for future features, additions, and much easier to fix the bugs.

    Our legal systems, and laws, have a certain analogous structure to a software project. Over time they can become a house of cards, where attempts to “update” or modernise a certain area cause all kinds of unintended side effects. This is the case we have today in law, and policies, surrounding copyright (and patents). The most glaring example of this, is the insertion of TPM related protection into copyright law, where it doesn’t even belong.
    What is even worse, we have lost sight of the original purposes of many of these legal structures. We spend time propping up the effects of older laws against a completely changed society – the purposes.

    We are at the stage where tweaks and changes to these laws are no longer possible without strong adverse effects in many wide ranging areas. It’s time to sit down and “refactor” the policies and legal structures around copyright. If this means completely changing the “rules” and structures, so be it. Draw from our history and knowledge, draw from current identified needs, and build a new framework that can be extended into the future. Some areas of current laws will be thrown away entirely, some will morph beyond recognition, some will be brand new. But each will have a clearly defined purpose, perhaps a newly defined purpose.

    Will this have a major disruptive impact on industries and careers? Certainly. But I would argue that the current situation is just as disruptive, and extremely divisive as well. Nobody seems to have acceptable answers, primarily because the questions are being framed within a historical, and no longer functional, context. We need something more drastic, and fundamental, than simple tweaking of our current laws surrounding copyright.

  29. Yes, they can hear us. They just don’t care to listen, after all we’re just the people of Canada.

  30. C’mon guys. Do a simple experiment. Roll some $100 bills to form a tube. Then stick the tube to your ear and listen through it. Notice how your hearing has become selective? The longer the tube the more selective it becomes. The new plastic bills will allow for making some really long tubes.

  31. No digital locks protection
    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that placing a legal protection on impotent technology is asinine?

    Seriously, a digital lock is like placing a post in the ground and hoping people don’t just walk around it. Case and point, the first Blu-Ray disk released was the movie Serenity. The same day, I’ll say that again, THE SAME DAY, it was broken and the unencrypted disk was found on the torrents.

    And this is especially true once single click programs are made for doing it. Not to mention that such programs are a necessity for creating a legal backup. Kind of defeats the point, eh.

    In other words, making something that is already illegal (unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material) more illegal (because one has to walk around the proverbial pole) is just plain stupid. It protects no-one nor does it prevent anyone from distributing.

    Personally, I would also like to have a provision that would encourage industry to keep up to date. In other words, if they don’t provide a competing service then distribution isn’t illegal. After all, it’s not exactly progressive if there are legal protections for industry to maintain an outdated failed business model.

  32. In order to be a pirate to get free movies, you’re going to need torrent software. Allow me to introduce you to my favourite called UTORRENT…;contentBody;4d

    Notice that you’re on CNET.COM where, right beside a silly little ignorable disclaimer, sits a shiny green button for you to click to get this wonderful torrent software.

    Also note at the bottom of that page, CNET.COM is owned by CBS INTERACTIVE. Note too that CBS INTERACTIVE is a subsidiary company of CBS/VIACOM/PARAMOUNT PICTURES.

    Yes indeed, the very film studio that is pushing the Harper Gov to create Bill C-11 and censor Canadians from torrent sites and torrent software is also hotlinking to a place you can download it from – for free! See how CNET editors even gave the software a 5-star rating? That’s a higher rating than most films Paramount releases. CNET only recently started linking offsite to torrent software downloads, by the way. Using the Internet Wayback Machine you can see that software like BITTORRENT was available to download from CNET for a decade.

    Oh and hey! CNET also brought us KAZAA! Remember KAZAA? The music file-sharing site where you could get buttloads of free tunes from peers? Yeah – they gave us that too.

    So, over the years they have been distributing this software, watching us use it, and now they’re taking those stats to politicians and neighbouring governments and crying OMG THEY’RE STEALING BLOCK THEIR INTERNETS AND LOCK EVERYTHING UP! And they’re yelling this from a atop a mountain of record profits from the past 5 years of sales.

    Wake up, conservatives, and wake up Canada. The USA are making fools of us and basically raping us of our rights and freedoms. We’re going to need a lot more than 2 pandas to let this happen.

  33. Just want to voice my fears
    I’m so worried about where we are headed with these laws. By “we” I don’t just mean Canadians; this is a problem throughout the western world. I am confident that most people would oppose ACTA and ACTA-like laws if they knew about them, yet they are being pushed on us behind closed doors.

    Let’s be clear about something. These laws do not guard against piracy. Piracy is already illegal. These laws are designed to artificially protect a particular business model, one that is employed by large media companies at the expense of smaller ones. These laws will not punish pirates; they will punish independent artists, consumers, and THE VERY CORE OF CAPITALISM.

    That last point might surprise conservatives: yes, capitalism is at stake. As a law-abiding consumer, I do not pirate media. But I also do not buy media with DRM. The numerous ebooks I read are all open domain books by dead authors. And I still buy CDs in shops, not individual songs from online retailers. I do all this to avoid the restrictions that DRM would place on me.

    In other words, I have been frozen out of a whole segment of commerce in order to protect the interests of the large media moguls. How is that good for capitalism? It’s not.

    Even worse, it’s not good for democracy. Here we have elite interests making backroom deals that most citizens would oppose; deals that are increasingly stifling the free exchange of information. The irony here is that we may end up with LESS openness in the digital age than we had in the days of the Gutenberg press. Scary.

  34. They might win the battle, but will never win the war
    As a compromise, I say that if publishers or authors choose to put a “digital lock” on something, it should be interpreted as an attempt to bypass the law, and that item should be ineligible for copyright protection.

    Yes, until a judge say that the digital lock protection also applies if the lock has been removed but you should reasonably be expected to have known that it was removed (and thus considered to be protected by the lock). Compare to buying a gold watch for $100 in a bar. Or $5 PS3 games out of a guy’s trunk.

    In that case the Copyright Industry wins: eternal “copyright” (a thorn on a rose by any other name still hurts as bad when it punctures your skin).

    C11 is a problem we have to deal with now. It’s but one battle in the Copyright Wars. The immediate problems are the Digital Lock when not infringing, and the amendments proposed by MPAA Canada (MPA) and RIAA Canada (CRIA / MC). The bigger battles are yet to come: ACTA ratification, TPP induced changes to copyright law, etc. Once the European Commission can ram IPRED2 down the EP’s throat, they will come to us demanding similar changes.

    We will eventually win the Copyright Wars: we are getting fresh new soldiers every year when new recruits become of age (are allowed to vote). The enemies’ forces are dying of old age or become unable to vote. Don’t hold it against them; they never had the capability, the technology, the tools in hand that made copyright an issue that stood in their way. They’ve been indoctrinated all their lives (many may not even know copyright, eventually, long after they have passed, expires).

  35. Dead
    I hope zombies take over the world soon.

    Walking Dead tonight 9pm!

  36. Dmca Copyright Infringement says:

    Nice blog byte I’m just looking for it.

  37. @Byte: The problem with your suggestion of disallowing works with protected locks on them from being eligible for copyright is that there would be absolutely nothing prohibiting people from copying such works, digital lock and all, and distributing them without limit. Since the lock would not necessarily be being bypassed by such copying, there could be no circumvention accusation, and if the work was not protected by copyright, the making of the copies and distribution of them, even if for profit, would not be copyright infringement either. Your so-called compromise is actually a no-win situation for content creators.

    I would suggest that the only viable compromise that makes any degree of sense for consumers, while still allowing creators to have their desired control over their own works is if the prohibitions against circumvention are made to only apply if and when unauthorized copies of such a protected work are made that do not conform to fair dealing guidelines. Of course, the tools to engage in such fair dealing circumvention bypassing should similarly not be outlawed.

    The chief problem with this proposal at a compromise is that proponents of the bill see it as a complete and total emasculation of the bill’s circumvention prohibitions.

  38. An odd twist
    Reading through C-11 (boring stuff) I found an interesting twist. If I were to rip all of my CD’s to MP3’s and than not wanting to store them – even though I have paid for the rights to use this music and based on C-11 can make copies of the music. Once I have have given the actual media away I must destroy the MP3’s.

    Why? Didn’t I already purchase the right to make a copy. Maybe the law shouldn’t allow me to give away the media or allow selling the media again (used CD stores, thrift stores etc).

    I would suspect that most people who listen to music have a number of CD’s and might be moving towards MP3’s. Most, I would think, don’t want to repurchase this music. And who has room to store items not used?

  39. The big thing that comes to my mind is that C-11, with it’s protection of digital locks, allows media corporation to arbitrarily “circumvent” my rights simply by applying a lock. Even if my intent was never to infringe, say making a backup copy, the government is handing property rights management to a corporation to give and take away as they see fit. This is wrong and completely brakes the balance!!!

    In fact I’m not even sure these digital locks provisions can even be binding since digital locks are applied to property and laws applying to property are part of the provincial domain, not federal, are they not? While digital downloads are more of a grey area, all my DVDs are certainly physical copies and would certainly be consider personal property under provincial law. What happens when a federal law clashes with a provincial law? Does federal override provincial or vice-versa? Does provincial need to change or does it become null and void?

  40. The Bill creates a catch-22. I can make a copy if the media company didn’t put a lock on it. If there is no lock I have lots of rights with what I can do with the media. If the media company added a lock I am not allowed to by-pass this lock in anyway and I have no rights.

    Why would the media not lock the content? What is their incentive to NOT lock the content?

    Having an MP3 that you legally downloaded creates an interesting problem that, from what I see, C-11 doesn’t address. If I purchase the MP3 from a small distribution company that goes under how can I prove, without having the media, that I purchased it if I am later challenged?

    Further, doesn’t this than make me guilty until I can prove that I am innocent?

  41. @Chris
    “Further, doesn’t this than make me guilty until I can prove that I am innocent?”

    This is much of the problem with most of this type of legislation. It places the burden of proof on the accused and puts those of limited financial means up against multi-billion companies with really no chance of winning any appeal, if they can afford to appeal at all.

    These types of laws break the most fundamental principal of law, “Innocent until proven guilty”.

  42. @IamME
    “What happens when a federal law clashes with a provincial law? Does federal override provincial or vice-versa? Does provincial need to change or does it become null and void?”

    Generally the law is considered unconstitutional and needs to be re-written. The federal government went through this with their securities bill they tried to pass. It tread to much on provincial territory, so now they need to make a new law that doesn’t. The question for C-11 is will anyone actually challenge it based on that?

  43. Content creators
    “As some are pointing out, you should remember this story the next time big companies claim they want to strengthen copyright law to “protect the content creators.””

  44. Need to get an online petition going?
    I don’t know how to do it so please someone who does post a link to this article!

  45. SASHA24Long says:

    If you want to buy a car, you will have to receive the loan. Moreover, my father always takes a auto loan, which supposes to be the most useful.