Posts Tagged ‘digital locks’

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.

MGE v GE-what did the 5th Circuit decide about the scope of the DMCA TPM provisions and was it right?

July 29th, 2010

Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit released a controversial decision interpreting Section 1201(a) of the DMCA in MGE UPS Inc v GE Consumer and Industrial, Inc. 2010 WL 2820006 (5th Cir.2010). Prof. Geist has suggested that the case decided that the “DMCA is limited to guarding access controls only to the extent that circumvention would violate the copyright rights of the copyright owner.” His summary of the case is neither accurate nor complete. Here’s why.

The MGE case

Copyright Office Exempts Six Classes of Works from DMCA’s Access Control Anti-circumvention Prohibitions

July 27th, 2010

Yesterday, the Librarian of Congress announced the classes of works subject to an exemption from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.

Accompanying ruling was the Statement of the Librarian of Congress on the Anticircumvention Rulemaking, the Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, and the Determination of the Librarian of Congress and Text of the Regulation (to be published in Federal Register).

ACTA and TPMs

July 20th, 2010

The latest draft of the ACTA is publically available. It has undergone significant development since the last publically available version including to one of its most important chapters, the chapter on Special Measures Related to Technological Enforcement of Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment. This is the chapter that includes the obligation of the contracting parties to provide legal protection for TPMs. Despite the changes made to these provisions, it is clear that the countries negotiating the treaty still intend that the contracting parties provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against circumvention related activities that could undermine new and exciting business models that rely on TPMs.

Minister Moore’s Speech on C-32

June 23rd, 2010

Heritage Minister Moore gave a speech yesterday at a meeting of the The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). His focus was on Bill c-32, the Copyright Modernization Act. He made a number of important remarks about the goals behind the Bill. He also used the occasion to comment on some of the Bill’s main critics Here are some highlights of his speech.

Minister Moore stressed the contribution that the copyright industries make to Canada’s economy noting that they “cannot be underestimated, both in terms of stimulating investment and creating jobs”.

The Owens analysis of the Canadian copyright consultations: what are the implications?

April 21st, 2010

Earlier this week, Richard Owens, the past chair of the board of directors of the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation, a member of the board and former Executive Director of the Centre for Innovation and Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and an adjunct professor of copyright and technology law at the University of Toronto, published a critical analysis of last summer’s copyright consultation. In his paper, Noises Heard: Canada’s Recent Online Copyright Consultation Process: Teachings and Cautions, he concluded that the consultation “was systematically abused by a clandestine group of mod-chip distributors, foreign websites administrators and international BitTorrent users”.  His focus was on the form letter wizard made available by the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights (CCER), a group whose very businesses depends on the ability to make illegal copies of software and to circumvent technological measures.

ITIF Report: Strategies for Reducing Digital Piracy

January 1st, 2010

Earlier this month, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) published a paper called Steal These Policies: Strategies for Reducing Digital Piracy. The aim of the paper is to advance a policy in which illegal sources of digital content is reduced while legal content becomes more accessible. The executive summary provides the following overview of the problem as follows: