ARCHIVED — Zousar Shaker
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Copyright Reform Process
Submissions Receives Regarding the Consultation Papers
Documents received have been posted in the official language in which they were submitted. All are posted as received by the departments, however all address information has been removed.
Submission from Zousar Shaker received on September 11, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Copyright Reform Process
My name is Zousar Shaker and I am a recent graduate with a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Alberta. I would like to comment on the various proposals and consultation papers currently distributed as part of the 'COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS' initiative.
As someone who now writes software for a living, I am keenly aware of the need for copyright laws to protect intellectual property (IP). Without protection of IP, the creators of software, music, and visual arts are left open to exploitation. However, it is important to note that it is the creators of IP that are in need of protection, not the businesses which have developed business models on aquiring and distributing IP works that are in need of protection.
The proposals made within the 'Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues' and the 'Consultation Paper on the Application of the Copyright Act's Compulsory Retransmission Licence to the Internet' seek most heavily to protect the market positions of those who currently act as 'middle men' in the distribution of IP.
Furthermore, the proposals within the 'Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues' that prevent circumvention or tampering with rights management devices extend outside the realm of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In an industry that has prided itself on fast innovation, how can we be expected to move forward if the questioning/investigation of currently implemented methods of security is prohibited?
One need only look south of the border to see the results of over-reaching copyright law that has been focused on protecting the distributer and not the creator of IP. Investigation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), shows how it has been abused by powerful companies in order to protect their market dominance in the distribution of IP of various kinds and quiet voices which have questioned their methods. Considering the case of Russian Dmitry Skylarov(http://www.freesklyarov.org/) who publicly questioned the abismal cryptographic methods of a certain E-book distributor only to be jailed for his thoughts and publication of them while in the United States. Observers have noted that it is a troubling sign when a Russian had to come to the United States in order to be arrested for a thought crime.
The fact of the matter is that if these types of restrictions are put on the legitimate use or examining of IP products, then I fear that many talented individuals will seek refuge in the more enlightened safe havens of Europe. Furthermore, I believe that a government which presides over this type of exodus of the talented will be held accountable at the ballot box.
So, to conclude, I respectfully request that the proposals put forth in the 'COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS' initiative be reviewed and ammended to focus the protection more closely on those who create the IP in question, and less soon those who distribute it, while at the same time maintaining the current level of rights and freedoms of users of IP.
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