Archive for the ‘TPMs’ category

C-32 and the BlackBerry PlayBook: A reply to Michael Geist

April 25th, 2011

Michael Geist’s recent blog post “The PlayBook Tax: Why the Conservative’s Copyright Plans Create a Hidden Cost for RIM’s PlayBook” makes the claim that “the Conservative plan for copyright reform (as found in Bill C-32) establishes a significant barrier that could force many consumers to pay hundreds in additional costs in order to switch their content from existing devices” to RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook. He calls this a “PlayBook tax” and claims switching costs apply to “any digital content with a digital lock”.

The Liberal Digital Canada Plan and Copyright

April 11th, 2011

Earlier today, Marc Garneau and guest commentators Michael Geist and Steve Anderson had a live online chat about the Liberal Digital Canada Plan.  A transcription of the chat is available here.

The Liberal Digital Plan says the following about copyright:

Fair balance Between Creators and Consumers.

Digital technology offers many new opportunities, but enjoying content without compensating its creators shouldn’t be among them. At the same time, consumers should have freedom for personal use of digital content they rightfully possess. Liberals have worked to pass effective copyright legislation, including a private copying compensation fund instead of any new tax on consumers.

Teachings from the Blizzard WoW case

December 20th, 2010

Last week the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in the MDY INDUSTRIES, LLC v BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT, INC case.

The case involved Blizzard, the creator of World of Warcraft (“WoW”), a popular multiplayer online role-playing game in which players interact in a virtual world while advancing through the game’s 70 levels. MDY developed and sold Glider, a software program that automatically plays the early levels of WoW for players. MDY had brought an action for a declaratory judgment to establish that its Glider sales did not infringe Blizzard’s copyright or other rights. Blizzard asserted counterclaims for copyright infringement, violation of the DMCA’s TPM provisions, and tortious interference with contract. The district court found MDY liable for secondary copyright infringement, violations of the DMCA and tortious interference with contract. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court except as to MDY’s liability for violation of the DMCA and remanded for trial on Blizzard’s claim for tortious interference with contract.

Key issues on the legal protection for TPMs under Bill C-32

December 8th, 2010

There has been considerable debate about the appropriate scope for legal protection of TPMs under Bill C-32. I dealt with this issue in a speech I gave today at the Insight Conference:  RIGHTS and COPYRIGHT, Bringing Canada into the 21st Century.

The questions I discussed were the following:

  • Does Bill C-32 properly implement the WIPO Treaties consistent with approaches used by Canada’s trading partners?
  • Does Bill C-32 permit circumvention of TPMs to permit copying for fair dealing, educational and other purposes?
  • Does Bill C-32 have a flexible framework to permit new exceptions to be made by regulation?

Separating copyright fiction from facts about C-32’s TPM provisions

November 24th, 2010

Earlier this week Prof. Geist wrote an opinion piece in the Toronto Star in which he purported to separate “copyright facts from fiction”. His opinion piece, Separating copyright facts from fiction, followed by another blog post this week, The False Link Between Locks and Levies, are two in a series of blog posts and opinion pieces written by him recently that purport to expose as inaccurate statements made about Bill C-32 by various individuals and organizations. See: Responding to ACTRA: Group Calls C-32 a “Disaster” and Proposes Six Part Fix; Copyright Fear Mongering Hits a New High: Writers Groups Post Their C-32 Brief; In Search of A Compromise on Copyright; EU: ACTA Digital Lock Rules Don’t Cover Access Controls.

Some observations about the debates on Bill C-32 in the House of Commons

November 9th, 2010

Last week there was lots of interesting debate in the House of Commons about Bill C-32 leading up to a vote at Second Reading to refer the Bill to a legislative committee for further study.

All of the political parties agreed that copyright reform is important. They concurred with the objectives behind the Bill including the goals of creating a legal climate in which creators can both safely invest in and get paid for their content and at the same time ensure access by users to their works. They recognized the need to modernize the Copyright Act to address the challenges of the 21st century.

Turning up the rhetoric on C-32’s TPM provisions

October 25th, 2010

As Bill C-32 approaches second reading in the House of Commons, critics of legal protection for technological measures (TPMs) are dialing up their attacks on C-32’s anti-circumvention provisions. Regrettably, many of the criticisms are based on an incorrect understanding of the Bill.

A case in point is a blog posting by Prof. Geist in which he reported on comments made by NDP MP Charlie Angus in the House of Commons on TPMs Angus Files Petition, Comments on C-32 & Digital Locks.  Prof. Geist’s posting is reproduced below:

This week NDP MP Charlie Angus used debate on the anti-spam bill to sound off on copyright reform and Bill C-32:

Are the TPM provisions in C-32 more restrictive than those in the DMCA?

September 30th, 2010

The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has revised its opinion in the MGE UPS Systems Inc. v. GE Consumer and Industrial Inc. 2010 WL 3769210 (5th.Cir. Sept. 29, 2010)  case  withdrawing entirely the discussion of whether a copyright violation is a prerequisite for a violation of DMCA Section 1201(a). Instead, it affirmed the dismissal of the DMCA claim solely on the lack of proof that any GE/PMI employee actually circumvented the access control TPM and because the DMCA TPM prohibitions do not apply to “using the software after some other party disabled the code requiring a” TPM.

Separating facts from hype about C-32

September 27th, 2010

Some anti-copyright critics compare the proposed copyright amendments in Bill C-32 with the copyright laws of the US to argue that Canadian copyright law with Bill C-32 passed would be more restrictive than in the US. International comparisons of copyright laws can be a very useful tool to gauge how Canadian laws stack up with international standards and norms. Regrettably, anti-copyright advocates often make their case by inaccurately and misleadingly describing US law to make it look more permissive than it is and by describing Bill C-32 in ways that makes it appear more restrictive than it is. This makes it difficult for the vast majority of the public to really assess Bill C-32 and to make properly informed judgements about it.

ACTA progress announced with plans to release final draft in September

August 23rd, 2010

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a Statement on the recent ACTA negotiations.The Statement followed the conclusion of the 10th round of negotiations on the ACTA held in Washington, D.C. from 16 – 20 August 2010.

The Statement reported on the progress of the talks which are slated to conclude following meetings in Japan this September. It also served to allay fears about the proposed contents of the treaty by again re-affirming what the treaty will not extend to.

The Statement said the following in this regard: