Michael Geist sez, "Reports in the Canadian media confirm what was reported in the blogosphere several weeks ago - out-of-touch Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore has won the internal fight for a Canadian DMCA. The reports say the Canadian government is likely to introduce the bill next week complete with digital lock provisions that mirror those found in the U.S. DMCA. The bill may also include some important new exceptions, but those will be subject to the use of a digital lock. In other words, they are new rights that come with a big caveat in that they can be eliminated anytime by a rights holder."
A translation for the layperson. In the USA, it's illegal to break a "digital lock," such as the one that prevents you from copying a DVD to your laptop or phone. This prohibition extends to activities that are otherwise legal: if there's a digital lock that stops you from buying unauthorized, third-party games or apps for your Nintendo Wii or Apple iPad, it's illegal to break that lock, even though all you're doing is buying copyrighted works from their authors (no copyright violations are taking place).
This has been the law in the US for ten years, and it's been an utter disaster. It hasn't stopped copying, but it has created monopolies through which hardware/service companies can lock out competitors and force creators to accept terrible terms in order to sell their works on their platform (see, for example, the terms on which apps are admitted to the iTunes Store).
Canada's Heritage Minister is so eager to kiss the ass of the American entertainment industry that's he willing to repeat the mistake, creating a Canadian version of this law. As a sop to the Canadian public (who overwhelmingly rejected this approach in a national consultation on Canadian copyright law), he's creating a few "exceptions" for copyright that give Canadians the right to do normal things like recording TV shows or ripping CDs.
However, he's also putting this digital locks business into play. So all of those exceptions can be overridden: if there's a digital lock (no matter how flimsy and ridiculous) that stops you from exercising your rights under copyright, those rights go away.
Nice work, Minister. Want some chapstick? All that puckering up for Hollywood is hard on a body.
National Post Reports "Heavy Handed" Copyright Law Coming Next Week
Disney today released two new clips and a new little featurette from the studio’s upcoming live action film “The Jungle Book.” I’m also loving the stunning poster art for the new film by Vincent Aseo, shown above in detail and below in full.
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, “Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is trying to use a Congressional loophole to push through two attacks on our Internet freedom in the ‘omnibus’ must-pass budget bill that Congress is expected to file tonight. He wants to include the final version of CISA which has been completely […]
The “Freedom of Panorama” is the right to take pictures in public spaces, even if you incidentally capture copyrighted works, from building facades to public sculptures to images on t-shirts and ads — and on July 9, the EU will vote whether to abolish it.
Whether I’m trying to relieve some stress at work or entertain myself on the metro, Space Putty is there. You can bring this magical goo home and try it for yourself for just $9.99Like Silly Putty of yesteryear, this viscoelastic substance can be molded into different shapes and stretched around in your hands. Use it […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]