24 Aug 2008
Canada’s Bill C-61 is an even-worse version of the United States’ DMCA.
For more information, http://www.michaelgeist.ca/ is a reasonable starting point. I rolled up my sleeves and had a go at http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=3570473&file=4 which is relatively readable.
Here’s the letter I just posted (yes, on actual paper, in an envelope!) to my MP.
If you’re Canadian, please read the above links and if you don’t agree with this Bill, as I’m confident you won’t, phone or write to your MP (especially if your MP is a Conservative Party member!)
Office of the Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P. Confederation Building House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 Hello Dr. Fry I am a resident of Vancouver Centre, and I'm writing to you to express my absolute horror at the current state of Bill C-61. I am employed as a software engineer in the entertainment industry, and as such, fully respect and understand the need for copyright reform in Canada. However, from reading this bill (at http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=3570473, the reproduction rights afforded to Canadians are absolutely useless because of section 29.21(c). This section subordinates any time-shifting and media-shifting rights that should be allowed, merely by having any kind of digital lock mechanism on the content. But, virtually all media sold in Canada now contains a digital lock of some sort, so it's almost pointless to "grant" these rights. Inevitably, the devices or internet services which control the digital lock access fail, go out of business, or otherwise are not maintained. If we are unable to legally shift to other formats, and the media become un-unlockable, they are effectively gone. Will all of the companies and individuals controlling the locks exist in 5 years? Maybe. 50 years? Unlikely. I would also like to especially point out that this does not solely concern things that could perhaps be considered "frivolous" like pop-consumer-ish music and video. Over the next 10-15 years, it is all but guaranteed that most books, and crucially text books, will be delivered and consumed in electronic form. My wife is a high school teacher employed by the Vancouver School Board, and I would be horrified to find that our already underfunded education system had lost access to teaching resources, simply because the company controlling a digital lock had failed. I sincerely hope you will make sure that this Bill is heavily modified, or defeated, when the time comes. Thank you for your time, Scott Graham *my address removed*