Canadian Tories admit that Canadians don't want DRM rules, push for them anyway

Canada's Parliament is debating bill C-11, the latest incarnation of a "modernisation" copyright bill, which contains a very controversial US-style "digital locks" (DRM) rule. Under C-11's digital locks rules, it would be illegal to remove any sort of anti-copying technology, even if you're doing so for a lawful purpose. For example, if a store sold you one of my books with DRM on it, I, as the rightsholder, couldn't authorise you to remove the digital locks (it would even be illegal for me, the creator of the book, to remove the digital lock!).

The debate included MP James Moore, the bill's principle advocate, admitting that digital locks rules were "not the balance that Canadians were looking for," and Industry Minister Christian Paradis saying that this stuff wouldn't be so bad, because, "Many products such as DVDs do not have digital locks and the market is doing its job in that respect." Except, of course, DVDs do have digital locks, and these locks are used to stop Canadians from format-shifting their lawfully purchased movies to their mobile devices, and also block people from watching the DVDs they bring with them to Canada (or receive from family overseas) from enjoying their property in Canada.

The Tories are supposed to be about the sanctity of private property, but they're very enthusiastic about taking away the right to use your property in lawful ways if doing so undermines the profitability of foreign entertainment conglomerates.

The discussion also featured some noteworthy comments from Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, who admitted:

Bill C-61, as it turned out, was not the balance that Canadians were looking for. We think this legislation achieves the balance that Canadians have come to expect. We tabled Bill C-61, there was the fall campaign, and then we came back. We re-engaged Canadians from the beginning. We went back to square one. We did unprecedented consultation on this legislation. We heard from thousands of Canadians in the process. We went across the country to town halls and we did open, online consultation. We arrived at Bill C-32.

Context: Bill C-61 and C-32 were the earlier incarnations of C-11, and in all three instances the most controversial aspect of the bill was the Digital Lock rules, which have remained intact in C-11.

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