ACTRA, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, is the union of more than 22,000 professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada including TV, film, radio and digital media. I have disagreed in the past with several its positions on copyright reform, including one member calling mashups morally wrong
and a six-part fix
that would remove fair dealing reform. ACTRA’s 2009 national copyright consultation submission
supported the use of digital locks, but also recognized the need for limits on the legal protections associated with them including the need to ensure that exceptions and limitations are not lost:
The choice of whether or not to use a TPM in connection with controlling access to a copyright protected work or which restricts copyright protected acts rests with rightsholders. Some will choose to use them, others will not. In accordance with the WIPO Treaties, rightsholders should have recourse against persons who deliberately circumvent their TPMs. By the same token, users who have legal access to a work should not be prevented by TPMs from availing themselves of statutory exceptions or limitations. Moreover, legal protection for TPMs should be subject to privacy, interoperability, and encryption research considerations, for example.
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NDP MP and party leadership candidate Romeo Saganash posts a piece in the Huffington Post that expresses concern with the digital lock rules in Bill C-11.
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Union des consommateurs is one of Canada’s leading consumer advocacy groups. Based in Quebec, it represents consumer interests on a wide range of issues. Union des consommateurs filed a submission
to the 2009 national copyright consultation that expressed significant concern with the use of digital locks and their implications for consumer rights, privacy, and freedom of expression.
DÃ¨s lors, le Gouvernement se doit de se poser la question d’intÃ©grer spÃ©cifiquement de telles dispositions au sein de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur, alors que l’Ã©chec des mesures techniques de protection est Ã©vident, et que celles-ci seraient dÃ©jÃ protÃ©gÃ©es dans notre arsenal lÃ©gislatif. Nous avons aujourd’hui le recul nÃ©cessaire pour affirmer que la protection lÃ©gale des mesures techniques de protection est dangereuse pour la vie privÃ©e des consommateurs, que bien souvent elle porte atteinte Ã la libertÃ© d’expression, et qu’elles limitent les utilisations lÃ©gitimes des oeuvres.
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The Canadian Urban Library Council members collectively serve more than 7.5 million active users at 522 locations. In 2008, members loaned 171,000,000 items and expended $86 million on collections including $8 million on digital resources. The CULC provided a submission
to the 2009 national copyright consultation and said the following about digital locks:
Legislation must ensure that individuals and the not-for-profit library, archive, museum, and education institutions which serve them can circumvent TPMs for non-infringing purposes. Increasingly content providers are recognizing that TPMs which restrict using legally acquired content on different devices are not acceptable to consumers. TPMs which restrict legal copying or format shifting should not be protected in legislation. Canada’s public libraries place a high priority on service to multicultural communities including recent immigrants. Of necessity this requires the provision of audio-visual collections which may have regional coding. TPM legislation as formulated in other countries and the last copyright legislation tabled in the House of Commons could be used to make illegal the ownership of DVD players which bypass regional coding. Such an outcome is especially unacceptable in a multicultural country such as Canada and certainly has the potential to impede public library service.
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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 isâ€¦ an integral part of the Copyright Actâ€¦ 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.
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