Michael Geist continues his ongoing series on activities that will be illegal under Canada's new copyright act, the so-called Canadian DMCA (Bill C-61). Today, backing up DVDs and scanning school photos:
Diane, who is four years old, is a huge fan of the popular TV character Dora the Explorer. For her birthday, she received four Dora DVDs. Given Diane’s habit of scratching them, her dad has begun to create backup versions. That day, Diane brings home her kindergarten class photo, which was taken by a local photographer. Josee digitizes the photo and sends a copy to Diane’s grandmother.
If Industry Minister Jim Prentice’s Bill C-61 becomes law, all of these copying activities arguably violate the law.
Bill C-61 does not allow users to make backup copies of DVDs. The act of backing up the DVD is an infringement. Moreover, in order to make the backup copy, users must typically circumvent the copy-protection on the DVD, also an act of infringement.
For decades, Canadian copyright law has vested copyright in commissioned photographs – like school photographs – in the person who commissions the photo. Bill C-61 reverses that practice so that copyright now belongs to the photographer. (repeal of Section 13.2) Assuming the photograph came with an all rights reserved restriction, the act of distributing the digitized photo to Diane’s grandmother now violates the law. (Section 29.21 (1)(e))
I'm pretty sure that every Canadian reading Boing Boing knows about this law and what's wrong with it, and I hope you've all contacted your MPs. But the point of these posts is to help you communicate to your less tech-savvy friends about these issues. Did you email your grandmother a photo of your kids' kindergarten photos? Call her up and tell her that you won't be able to do it again with the grade one pics next year unless she calls up her MP and puts him on notice that he'd better oppose the CDMCA or lose her vote. Did your brother back up his DVDs to his laptop when he went away to university? Call him now and let him know that he'll be a criminal next year unless he calls and writes to his MP and lets her know what he thinks of Bill C-61.
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