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PROCESSUS DE RÉFORME DU DROIT D'AUTEUR
SUGGESTIONS REÇUES RELATIVEMENT AUX DOCUMENTS DE CONSULTATION
Les documents reçus seront affichés dans la langue officielle dans laquelle ils auront été soumis. Toutes les suggestions sont affichées comme elles ont été reçues par les ministères; toutefois, toutes les informations sur les adresses ont été enlevées.
Suggestion de George Lianeris reçue le 8 septembre 2001 par courriel
Objet : Canadian copyright reform
Someone suggested sending a letter like this to You, and I agree with it - however I will add my own comments at the end.
To Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned agencies:
I write to express my grave concern regarding the extreme intellectual property provisions of the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPCDI).
These measures, based on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), give far too much power to publishers, at the expense of individuals' rights. The DMCA itself is already under legal challenge in the US, has gravely chilled scientists' and computer security researchers' freedom of expression around the world for fear of being prosecuted in the US, and resulted in the arrest of a Russian programmer. The CPDCI provisions, which serve no one but (largely American) corporate copyright interests, are just as overbroad as those of the DMCA.
These provisions would amend the Canadian Copyright Act to ban, with few or no exceptions, software and other tools that allow copy prevention technologies to be bypassed. This would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee of freedom of speech, and similar guarantees in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, since such tools are necessary to exercise lawful uses, including fair use, reverse engineering, computer security research and many others.
I urge you to remove these controversial and anti freedom provisions from the CPDCI language. The DMCA is already an international debacle. Its flaws should not be imported and forced on Canadians.
For my own, less formal comment:
I also wonder, how are lock picking tools regarded under Canadian law? Can you own and distribute such tools, or is this illegal?
Consider what you call 'Copyright Protection Circumvention Devices' as lock picks. It is not wrong to create or distribute such things; is however wrong to use them with the purpose of copying and disseminating copyrighted material. All this is clear, and probably not up for debate, although I could be misinformed.
I do see two sides to this: On one hand, one can say that since a certain program (I'll stick to programs instead of 'devices' for now, since they are more common) is written to decrypt or in some way make available copyrighted material, it is /obviously/ intended to be used as a pirating tool. After all, why would one write it?
But on the other hand, perhaps you remember a certain case where a 16 year old boy was prosecuted in a foreign country for cracking the CSS encryption scheme used to encrypt movies on DVD's. This person's intent was very simple: He did not want want to purchase the Microsoft Windows operating system to watch his DVD's. He wished to view them using the Operating system of his choice at the time: Linux. Please note that this person had -purchased- the DVD's he was going to watch.
So I ask - was what he did wrong? This person cracked an encryption scheme NOT to pirate copyrighted material, but to exercise his right to view it. He did after all purchase the DVD's. This is the sort of thing that the law you intend to make may allow.
Also I would like to add that current protection measures are quite inadequate - ROT13 and CSS encryption, which are used in certain products are schemes which have either been created with little forethought, or have been created and cracked long, long ago.
These laws do NOT punish piracy! They are not made to protect copyright, but rather, they appear to be constructed to punish people who attempt to access certain material, whether for legitimate reasons or not. These laws assume a guilty until proven innocent posture, and this is not the way of a free country.
No, ladies and gentlemen, please do not pass this bill. Punish piracy, and not those people who simply create tools and methods for circumventing 'copyright protection'. The companies that benefit from this the most already have an army of lawyers quite capable of prosecuting anyone who infringes upon their copyright. But cracking the code does NOT infringe on said copyright.
It has the potential to do so, yes - but do we ban manufacture and distribution of knives because they have the potential to kill?
Also consider another example: Some time ago a Software Company wrote an Internet Filtering program. Such programs are used to block access to certain web sites with inappropriate content (usually). These programs use two methods to do so: They have a parser which parses out 'bad words' and blocks a web page if they exist on it. I am certain you can see why this would block one's research on cucumbers .... so this method is not particularly effective. The second and primary method is a list. The program has a (usually encrypted) list of web sites which it is supposed to block.
The list is long, and it is also a trade secret - you see, the company claims that their personnel put a list of web sites to be blocked there doing hard work checking all these sites. It has turned out that many legitimate sites are blocked as well - of course, one cannot truly verify this without decrypting the list and looking through it for legitimate sites. This is another problem that a DMCA like law can cause.
In other words, companies may hide behind this law to scam consumers. Consider 'spy software', which could be installed secretly on your computer (Yes, certain companies already do this - you download a certain product and it is bundled with this sort of software) and it would send the company personal data as well as statistics of your surfing behavior, perhaps what software you have installed on your system ... and if certain parts of this program are encrypted then, they can hide behind your proposed law if someone were to decrypt these programs to reveal what they truly do.
I apologize if my statements are not very clear, and perhaps not completely informed as to the proposed law; however, these are my concerns and comments regarding this law.
Thank you very much for your time.
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