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Why Copyright? Canadian Voices on Copyright Law

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I'm Jody Ciufo, the executive director of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. My name is Carys Craig and I'm an associate professor here at Osgoode Hall Law School I'm Jason Crocker. And I'm Mike Craigen. And we represent the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights. My name is Jeremy deBeer, I'm a law professor at the University of Ottawa. My name is Gordon Duggan, I'm the co-founder of Appropriation Art and I'm also an artist. I am Safwan Javed, I'm one third of the band Wide Mouth Mason. My name is Ian Kerr I hold the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law with cross appointments in the Faculty of Medicine and Department of Philosophy. My name is Howard Knopf, I'm copyright lawyer and counsel with the firm Macera & Jerzyna. My name is Tracey Lauriault and I'm a graduate student at Carleton University in the department of geography and environmental studies. My name is John Lawford and I'm a lawyer with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa. My name is Terry McBride. I'm the CEO of Nettwerk Music Group. My name is Russell McOrmond I'm the volunteer policy coordinator for CLUE which is a Canada's association for open source I'm Laura Murray. I'm an associate professor of english at Queen’s University. I'm Brian O'Higgins. I'm the chief technology officer for Third Brigade. My name is Karl Schroeder. I'm a science-fiction writer. I'm Jennifer Stoddart, and I've been Privacy Commissioner of Canada since late 2003. My name is Stephen Taylor and I'm a fellow at the Manning Centre for Building Democracy. My name is Philip Tsui and my title is the CEO and chairman of the Skylink group My name is Jeremy Teplinsky, I'm a lawyer in Toronto. My name is Paul Van Oorschot and I'm a professor of Computer Science at Carleton University and I'm Canada Research Chair in Network and Software Security. My name is Leslie Weir, and I'm the President of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and I'm also a University Librarian at the University of Ottawa. My name's Ian Wilson, I'm the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. Hi, I'm Bob Young, and I'm the President and CEO of a company called Lulu.com And I'm Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. On June 12, 2008, then Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice rose on the floor in the House of Commons and introduced the much anticipated and much debated copyright reform legislation. While the bill would ultimately die on the order paper just a couple of months later. The months leading up to the introduction of this legislation saw an unprecedented array of discussion and debate about the future of Canadian copyright policy. In fact, the government was scheduled to have introduced this legislation back in December 2007, but a funny thing happened on the way to the introduction of the bill. It wasn't. There are any number of reasons why the government may have delayed introducing this copyright bill, but at the top of the list in the view of many was a Facebook group. "Fair Copyright For Canada" was a group that I established in early December, about a week before this legislation was scheduled to have been introduced. I started with about a hundred of my Facebook friends, it grew to about a 1,000 people within a day, 10,000 in a week and by the summer of 2008 more than 90,000 Canadians were using Facebook to actively discuss, debate and engage in the copyright reform process. The government is set to table its new bill, but at the same time a grassroots group against it is gathering steam on the internet. And so what we've seen happen, in the span literally two and a half weeks, is this enormous community of interests. It's happening here on the social networking site Facebook. Now it wasn't just about Facebook. There were Youtube contests, and wikis, and local chapters and communities becoming actively engaged in the process. There were bloggers such as BoingBoing raising global awareness about what was taking place in Canada, and the mainstream media picked up on the story as well. First the trade press, followed by some of the mainstream print press and then radio and television. "Why has this government declared a war on Canadian consumers?" "Gotta love, Charlie Angus, you know that Facebook group that we saw called Fair Copyright For Canada Тhe man who started it is Michael Geist. Good to see you man. - Thank you. - OK. This new law is not yet been revealed but, there is a lot of chatter about it. Why are people so freaked out about this? - Well, there is a strong sense that this legislation is going to look a lot like laws that were passed in the United States about 10 years ago. And the experience in the US as such has been realy negative -- had big consequences, negative consequences for consumers, for privacy, even for free speech." While all of this coverage succeeded in placing copyright on the public agenda in a way that Canadians have never seen, there was one moment in particular that stuck with me. It was a copyright debate hosted by TVO -- the Ontario public broadcaster. The show "The Agenda" hosted by Steve Paikin had brought together a number of participants to discuss copyright. And Paikin quickly turned to me with the following question: "Do you think many of our viewers see global warming, you know, social services, the state of the economy... Copyright laws? They are bombarding Parliamentarians about copyright laws? Well you know, I think copyright is an issue that matters. And it's an issue that matters clearly to large numbers of industries and different sectors, but I think one of the realizations that we've seen over the last couple of weeks is that Canadians understand that it has a direct impact on them as well. It has an impact on them as a consumers, in terms of what they can do with the CDs they buy, the DVDs they buy, the electronic books that we're seeing more and more, even their cellphones. What kind of consumer rights do you have. It has an impact on their personal privacy, and really in the current environment in the participatory Internet it has a core impact on their ability to engage in free speech. In a world where we see so many people engaged in a mash-up and remixing and taking some music and taking some video, and making political statements and engaging in all kinds of different discussions. Copyright laws that are overly restrictive, that lock stuff down and turn everyday activities into potentially infringing or criminal activities, are things that I think bother a lot of people. That answer always felt a little unsatisfying to me. Part of it is the nature of televised debates, where complex questions get rapid fire responses. Part of it was also that there was just so much more to say. In fact, months earlier, Dan Albahary and I had spent the summer asking Canadians from coast to coast much the same question. I think their responses provided much deeper understanding into why copyright has emerged to such an important issue for so many Canadians today. One of our strongest positions is that appropriation art is legitimate art, period. There is no real questioning of that. It's in every art history book, it's in every art magazine, it's in every museum collection, it's in every collection, so one of the problems we have now is that as copyright law drifts into losing its balance, I suppose, and favouring this kind of notion of a particular type of a creator over another type of creator, we're faced with this idea that suddenly we could be producing illegal art. It's a first time certainly in Canadian history that we've had work that is illegal not because of hate literature or something like that, but simply because of the process that is used to create it. I think generally laws are supposed to balance interests. And in the case of copyright laws they are meant to balance the interest of public access as well as incentive to creators to create works. Anti-circumvention laws are there to benefit corporations not creators and I would like to go on record as saying that the artist is the rights owner. and not Disney or any other middle man corporation, and really it should be us who decides whether these anti-circumvention methods get made into law. Personally, being a musician, I tend to fall on the side of the less restrictive copyright law, mostly because I find in the creative process, my creative output is often sparked by, or builds upon, other people's creative output and I would hope that mine could potentially do the same for other creators as well, so I think we need to facilitate that, as opposed to creating limitations on that. I think it's important to begin with the need for exemptions to anti-circumvention provisions in general. I think we have to understand that when we create a right that protects against a circumvention of technological protection measures, we are layering an entirely new right on top of copyright laws that already exist. And so this new right can actually control access and can limit the kind of uses that can be made of protected works. And so it seems to me that we need to ensure that when we create this new right, we are also bearing in mind the appropriate limits of that right. We need to maintain in copyright law an appropriate balance between the rights that we protect and the interests of the public to engage with the protected works. And so the limits are every bit as important as the rights that we create. We are in position in Canada to really think carefully about the fact that copyright law is about maintaining a balance. As a result of our slow approach to this from a policy making perspective our Supreme Court has had the opportunity to articulate in a trilogy of cases its own view about this delicate balance and how to achieve it. And I think one of the great things about Canada, and one of the great things about us moving forward in terms of our own copyright reform, is the ability to really incubate the kind of knowledge that has come with that pause, and really show the lead by the way of the lag that we've created and really set out a copyright regime which does protect the important interests of copyright owners, but at the same time really does allow for a robust public domain. The public domain has to remain public. Digital rights managements should never be applied to any work that is in the public domain. To me the public domain is essentially like a national park. And those of us who have copyright licence It needs to be extended for a limited time and limited circumstances. It's like a hunting licence in a national park. You may need to have some hunting, some logging, some fishing. But the idea that you can just give people unlimited hunting, unlimited logging, unlimited fishing -- is just absurd, it would devastate the landscape in no time. And this is essentially what we've done with copyright. We've said the creators can have unlimited rights over everything. And the victim of that is the public domain. And the frightening thing about DRMs is that if you put a lock on something that is in the public domain, and if it is illegal to take the lock off the whole notion of the public domain is lost. But our legislators do absolutely have to understand the need to protect the public domain of knowledge, because that's where innovation comes from. That's where Canadians and Canadian firms and Canadian writers and songwriters, that's where they go to for their material. And if there isn't a public domain of knowledge and of prior art, it's going to be hard to create the next great work of art. We are concerned as an institution about the preservation of our national documentary heritage and its accessibility, whether it's accessible now whether it's going to be accessible 10, 20, 30 years from now. So we have to ensure that whatever we bring in, and however we bring it in, whether it's from legal deposit, for print material or for the archives, where we bring in official records of the government of Canada, some of which are protected under the PKI protocol, we need to be able to be sure, that we could provide access to that material in the very long term. We're not just here for a year or two, we're here for the next several hundred years and we need to be able to guarantee both for ourselves and future generations that this is going be available. DRM will have a major impact on basic user rights, because it will curtail our availability to be able to preserve, to be able to restore and to be able to provide access to electronic materials perhaps now and even more in the future. The Canadian historical association has published journals for years and years and years since the early 1900s, and recently decided that they would make all of these openly accessible -- all of the back issues. This was a huge decision. But it was based on the fact that they wanted dissemination of the work. They wanted the exchange of ideas. They wanted this to be freely available in Canada and abroad at some lost to themselves of revenue because they did get some money previously from back issues. But it was a conscious decision taken by the board of directors on behalf of historians in Canada. Now, we come back again to the right to be able to disseminate that freely. And if you start putting DRMs on the Internet, if you start having collectives taxing the Internet, or levying the Internet, you are collecting fees for something that publishers, some copyright owners had no intention of making money with whatsoever. DRM technologies are not necessarily interoperable with each other, and they are most certainly not interoperable across time. Which means if we start looking at the preservation of data, if we start looking at longitudinal data, for us in the sciences, we like to work with data, that we could have access to 3 or 4 hundred years ago. Even though it may not be perfect data, but when we start looking at climate change models, we are looking at very old data sets and all types of information that's helping us inform the context of today. If that is locked up under DRM type of systems that are not interoperable across time, that are not standard and they aren't going to live across time, we are causing ourselves preservation problems. Resulting from this very strong protection in the US what you see are numerous examples of situations where anti circumvention protections, has resulted in limits upon research, competitive behavior and generally uses that we consider to be fair and competitive uses in the absence of such rights. Working in technology, you are constantly bumping into the rules. So you are constantly worried whether your innovation might infringe on someone's patent, you are worrying for that matter, your marketing slogan might infringe in someone's copyrighted material or for that matter the name of your company might infringe on someone's trademark. So intellectual property rules are all around us. Our legislators are focused on helping companies in technology exceed and they have a bias towards believing that technology company succeed because they own lots of intellectual property. Which means they need to help technology companies by writing ever broader intellectual properties protections for their companies to use. And in doing so they forget the principal concept which is innovators and entrepreneurs, the next generation of Bob Youngs, so to speak. If they are not careful they are gonna shut him out of the market. They are gonna make it impossible for them to bring their products to market. Microsoft's best case scenario is always that people use their software and that they pay for it. The second best scenario for them is that they use their software but don't pay for it. The worst case scenario for Microsoft is that people to switch to open source alternatives. Because once you've used open source alternatives, where it is perfectly legal to share with your friends, to not have to count copies, all those types of things, they are not likely to ever go back. The concept behind free software was we were building tools collaboratively over the Internet. No one of the engineering teams who were working on these tools owned the tools. We all built the tools collaboratively because we all needed the result we all needed each other's help to make this Linux operating system and the various components that made up the Linux operating system. We needed the whole operating system, but no one engineering team, not the Red Hat engineering team that I was involved in, not the XWindow consortium team, not the Apache web server team, none of us had the resources to build a whole operating system, but we all needed a whole operating system. So by giving away our piece of the code, we would get back obviously a much bigger and more valuable piece of code. So it is a sort of a barter system in a funny way. The challenge to it however is to operate collaboratively ran against precedented software development. So most of our copyright rules that we were working under in the United States but also here in Canada, were designed for proprietary companies. Companies who build the code themselves and who as a result owned both the source code and the binaries. And they owned the copyright around that code. So you couldn't use the code without their permission which is a model that works very very effectively economically. But it is a model that doesn't allow for the collaboration that we were using over the Internet. And as we spoke to public policy people, it was clear that our legislators, literally around the world -- didn't matter whether it is Canada, or Washington, or Tokyo, or Brussels, around the world legislators had come to equate strong intellectual property protections with the health of their technology and publishing industries. And yet the stronger you made an intellectual property protections, the bigger problem it created for us in the free software and now open source software publishing world. Interop is a huge issue. People are used to a CD working in every CD player. They're used to a DVD working with every DVD player. Why would a digital music file not work on every player. It makes no sense. You stymie the market place. You stop mass acceptance of what should be, you know, mass market music. The US Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the DMCA has attracted an enormous amount of attention and more than its fair share of controversial lawsuits. Perhaps the best know is the one involving Skylink -- a Canadian company that makes interoperable garage door openers. Although that doesn't seem like a likely company to face a copyright lawsuit, as the CEO of Skylink explains the lawsuit has had a devastating effect on the company with effects that are still being felt today. Skylink was facing a hard time. We spent almost 4 million dollars to pay for the team of solicitors, the solicitors Although we won all of the lawsuit of the DMCA, my feeling is really bad, and the company morale is not very well. And also the biggest problem with this lawsuit is that we are fighting with them for three years. The buyer, you know -- our customer, for example like Sears, Lowe's, Home Depot, understood that our company is sued by a huge company. And then they walk away. They don't want to continue to buy our product. So until today we've lost a lot of business because of that DMCA lawsuit. I know of no other business that sues his customers With regards to suing fans for P2P file sharing, I am opposed to the notion, I believe it's counter intuitive to maintain healthy relationships with customers. I think at the end of the day it is bad for business. For a number of years the music businesses have been built upon controlling intellectual property, controlling how it's created, controlling how it's distributed, and ultimately controlling how it is consumed. The Internet obviously throws that right out the door. The control goes to the consumer, the consumer's king. As such a lot of what we do is looking at that behaviour of the consumer, collecting the data, learning how to market to the consumer and ultimately learning how to monetize that behaviour versus relying upon the old paradigm of a control distribution system. I said that I do feel that there are alternatives to the levy not least of which is monetizing P2P. If we aren't careful, some major corporations that already owns a monopoly in one field, might be able to slide a DRM protection in for their customers, in effect, and enable them to extend their monopoly into a different field. Copyright misuse argument entails the notion that even though somebody may well hold copyright in something or other, if they use that intellectual property right to lever their rights intellectual property rights as such, in order to do something else that they would not be entitled to do. In other words monopolize a certain product or who knows? In the case of Wire Data to assert, ownership or control over mere facts, which they don't own. Another one use intellectual property right to lever into something that you have no rights to do, using market power contract or whatever. We are already running into problems with Open Source software where vendors are encrypting the software making it impossible for us to detect whether or not they have infringed our copyright without circumventing these locks. If it is illegal for us to circumvent these locks, then we can't enforce our copyright. Region coding is segmenting the market and isolating consumers, by preventing them from playing media from their native region or in a native language Regional coding upon DVDs, on the masters that we control, there is no regional coding. Why should someone in Australia, not be able to watch a DVD that has been released in North America ? There is no reason for that at all. And all that does is get some kid in North America to rip it using Handbrake, put it up on the Internet so that kid in Australia can watch it. So regional coding, again, is about control which basically stymies the commercial viability. The labels think that it helps, but actually it hurts. Canadians can enjoy works of art, music and so on, to the extend that they do now. With a fair distribution I think between producers, the creators and the general public because after all these are works of art, this a part of our society, this is a part of our civilization, it is not totally commercial, also has an important cultural dimension. And that they can do that without their privacy being invaded in the I think rather unacceptable way that we've seen by the surreptitious introduction of some of the rootkit technology. In the fall of 2006, I purchased this CD in Ottawa from a local retailer. I took it home to take the songs off and put them on my iPod, and when I put the disc into the disc-drive, the computer started to load software right away, without me clicking "I Agree", or agree any terms of use or anything like that. And also it wanted to connect to the Internet, luckily my firewall prevented it. At this point I was a little bit alarmed and went to look online, to see if anyone else had the same type of problems with their CDs. I discovered a computer science blog where an expert has discovered that the software had installed themselves in an insidious way, and opened some holes in a Windows Operating System. This really pissed me off, I was furious. First of all I couldn't put the songs on my Ipod which is what I wanted and second of all that a music company would essentially think they had the right to put this stuff on my computer without one -- asking me, or even giving me the option if ever I wanted it and two in such a way, it was intended that I wouldn't even discover it and noted that they've opened these security holes. Someone takes back a DVD that won't work because they got the wrong machine or they got the wrong player for this format. Retailers don't want to take it back, because it works if you had just read the packaging, and saw it was for a certain platform. Again, at what level can you expect consumers to investigate their legal rights when they are just making like one of many billions average purchases, they are just buying CDs, they are just buying a DVDs, and just want to watch a movie, they don't want to figure their licensing rights by reading the package for twenty minutes in a store, and even then it may not be completely clear from the packaging you know. The problem with digitals locks in private copying, is the digital locks prevent consumers for making the private copies they have paid for the right to make. And so we have consumers paying for a right that they are technologically unable to exercise. There is new security that is being used, for instance Microsoft is trying to use this with Vista, where it takes a snapshot of all the hardware of your computer, you know, what video card you have, what motherboard you have, what type of RAM you have, all of that, and it includes that in the information to unlock the content. The idea being that you can't just copy the locked content put it on another computer, and still be able to access it. So what if your video card breaks? The way this was traditionally done, is you just replace the videocard with one that actually worked. But now your computer will think that you are trying to illegally access the content on your computer, because now you have a different videocard, so it must be a different computer. So you have to somehow again, go back to the vendor and in one way or another, maybe an online form, or maybe a phone call, who knows what they can decide to do, and what they can decide to charge you to access the content on your computer again, just because you changed the videocard. In order to control the use of your product in the Internet, you shouldn't at the same time be able to profile individual users. You shouldn't be able to profile them either without their knowledge and full consent. A full blown digital rights management system, in order to do what it sets out to do, really needs to be a surveillance tool. You need to have the freedom to pursue avenues of study, of exploration, and to do that without each of your movements being watched or tracked. Traditionally the privacy commissioner is not thought to be part of the copyright world, but I think those who are involved in proposing this law now, should know that it has an impact on privacy, and I've said very clearly to the Minister that I expect because of the fact that copyright management now goes through a technological dimension which can be privacy invasive, that it be subject to a privacy impact assessment and the results be shared with interested parties and the legislature so that we will understand what any kind of new copyright legislation introduced in the House of Commons would imply. It's surprising really that teachers and students and university administrators and school boards haven't taken more action about DRM and shown more concern about it. And I think there are three reasons for that broadly speaking. One of them is that most teachers and students don't know anything about copyrights, so they don't know what rights they have that they might stand to lose. Another reason is that we are all a bit giddy with new technology and we are so distracted by all the things we can do, that we might not notice that there are constraints being placed on our behaviour, that things that we used to be able to do with books, say, are not necessarily allowed or possible with DRM material. And then the third reason is that the institutions themselves are really conservative and scared about the copyright and they are afraid they're gonna be sued. We are concerned with the fact that the copyright in general and DRM in particular is having a chill effect on some of the areas that are being studied in courses across Canada. There was a graduate student in my department who was working on the cartoons of Betty Boop. And she was looking at the way that race and sexuality was portrayed in these cartoons. She wanted to do a presentation, she had to do a presentation to the department, a 20 minute presentation of her research, and she wanted to show some little clips, because she didn't want to show much, she didn't need much she just need to show little moments, so she went to the IT office and she said “Can you help me do this, I need the software to help me take these little clips.” And then they said -- "No we don't have that, and ... we don't think you are allowed to do that, but we will ask the university lawyer." So they went to the university lawyer and they asked her. Meanwhile the presentation came in went, so the student had to change her topic because of that. Now in due course the university lawyer came back and she said "Yeah that sounds like fair dealing to me, she is taking small clips for purposes of criticism sounds like a fair dealing." So to her credit. That's the conclusion she came to. but she is a busy person she can't adjudicate on every single pay case and then the student was really stymied in a work that was completely legitimate. Electronic books have very strong DRM mechanisms built into them. Most of those books are delivered to libraries through the Internet via the web rather than on CD or DVD. And the DRM schema that regulate the use of those books are extremely complex and quite rigorous and very limiting to the researchers. One can only often, download one page at the time perhaps one chapter at a time but never a whole book. There is a widespread idea out there that professors and students are just copying and infringing copyrights, pirating stuff all over the place. But actually I find the opposite, I find that the teachers and professors are often quite eager to do things right, to do the right thing, and maybe because they want to set an example or maybe because they just not very brave people by nature I don't know but they want to do the right thing, and if they are being told by their school board or their IT office that they are not allowed to do something they just will not do it. Given the importance of this right to engage in private study and research using copyrighted materials we have to ask ourselves whether this right will be preserved in the context of anti-circumvention protection It seems that there is a real threat that when we protect against the circumvention of technological measures we may prevent people from accessing the kind of protected materials that they need to access in order to conduct their own research and to engage in private study The anti-circumvention rules could certainly cause researchers to shy away from doing research in certain areas and especially the more conservative researchers will look at this and say: "You know, doing research in particular area could bring some liability onto me and I have a broad range of choice in terms of what research to pursue, why wouldn't I pursue a different area of research which is free of these questions." That unfortunately, could cause some researchers, including some of our best researchers, to not look at the important problems related to the software protection and application protection. We also worry a lot about our researchers that have disabilities and if we cannot provide alternate format materials of the materials in the library, many of our researchers may in fact not be able to make use of those books and journals and other research materials. Security researchers would like to build better locks and the first thing they do is to break the existing ones, and figure out what the weaknesses are and then build a better one. Well that type of research activity could very much be in danger, at least you know in some of the drafts we've seen of the upcoming legislation. So we have to be very careful to, you know have a carve out for this kind of security research activity that is clearly not infringing and we don't want to impede that in any way. So when I think about computer security I think of technologies that are used to protect the owner of the computer against some sort of external threat. So the whole purpose is to ensure that the owner of the computer is in control of their computer. That's essentially the definition to me of computer security. Digital rights management is actually the reverse. The whole idea of digital rights management is to ensure that some third party, in this case the device manufacturer, has control over the device and not the owner, so computer security in digital rights management while they use the same underlying technology the threat that they are trying to protect against, are the opposite threats. In one case it's the owner protecting against third parties, and in the case of DRMs it's the third parties protecting against the owner. Those involved in security research are concerned about legislation banning anti-circumvention technologies because we need to carry out certain activities that the legitimate course of research which could be classified as circumvention. So for example in the anti-virus practice, you need to reverse engineer what malicious software writers have created in order to understand it and therefore to be able to detect it as part of an anti-virus program. We don't want any researcher to shy away from dealing with all these issues around anti-circumvention when all he wants to do is get on with his research . Banning devices including software which could be used for circumvention is problematic specifically because its such software is multi purpose. It can be used for software engineering and software re-engineering to try to improve or restructure existing code, it can be used for reverse engineering malicious software so that anti-virus vendors can better detect viruses on legitimate users machines, it can also be used by attackers to reverse engineer software to support software piracy. It's very similar to many other multi use technologies. And calling one technology with one label it's hard to know how that label would be interpreted by others down the road. Well legal protection for technological protection measures and other digital rights management systems create some fundamental constitutional problems. The problems are really quite simple, the constitution is the supreme law of the land and any legislation that violates the constitution is of no force and effect. Now the constitution divides responsibility for different areas of the society to the federal government or to the provincial government, the federal government has authority to enact laws in respect of copyright. the question is whether protection for technological protection measures is matter of copyright legislation or if it really relates to something else. And in my research I've uncovered that a strong argument can made that protection for technological protection measures, protection for digital locks, really relates to a matter of property and civil rights, it's about contracts, it's about consumer protection issues and there are all these complicating factors that mean the provinces may have a role to play in this issue, and if the federal government enacts protection for digital locks that's too broad it could go beyond the scope of its constitutional authority and the legislation will be invalid as a result or if not invalid at least read down. I created a satire of digital rights management systems in my novel "Permanence". I created a society that I called the Rights Economy in which everything is tracked and everything is paid for via micro payments to the point where not only works of art are owned but all information, all things, so that you cannot in fact open a door without paying a micro-payment to the rights owner of that door, and you cannot even speak in fact, because all words are owned by someone or other. So therefore every time you use the word "the" in conversation you are tracked and could cause to pay a micro payment to the owner of that word. Religions are owned, thoughts are owned, everything is owned. If everything can be tracked, someone will want to find a way to bill for it. I as a citizen should have the right to my public data for one, I should have a right to that public data in open formats as much as possible, so that I can work with it, because my job as a citizen in a democracy is to keep my government accountable. The least number of impediments and road blocks on me being able to behave as a full and complete citizen in a participatory democracy, as possible the better. And I think DRMs is just another layer of complications on something that is already far too complicated. There are researchers who, I imagine, would have fear of liability in publishing their research related to reverse engineering and/or circumvention. I hope that the government in Canada doesn't go along that path in a logical way that goes against preserving people's right for fair use. The protection of that content, of course, is important for intellectual property owners. However, it should not come at the expense of fair use. Fair dealing and copyright are both subsections of freedom of expression. And I think there is almost too much emphasis on the idea of expression and not enough on the idea of freedom. I think in Canada we have a very different understanding of freedom than they do in the United States. Here I believe that freedom to most people is freedom of access. We see that in the expectations of Canadians that everyone should be entitled to an education, everyone should be entitled to medical care, everyone should be entitled to a pension. We have this kind of social freedom in Canada, which is absent in the United States. So when we talk about freedom of expression in Canada, I think we are talking about freedom of access. And so fair dealing is kind of an accepted thing here. We expect access to information, to knowledge, to books, to medicine. While there are many answers to "Why copyright ?", Canada's politicians have begun to move from why to what, setting out their visions for copyright in Canada. "Thank you Mr. Speaker, Well the Minister of industry clearly doesn't understand the issue of copyright, because he's refused to meet with key Canadian stakeholders. He shut the door to the universities and educators he's ignored the advice of senior government bureaucrats and he has completely shut the door to consumer groups, artists and software innovators. Now meanwhile his government has been rolling out the red carpet for corporate lobbyists and the US ambassador. So Canadians have a right to know why they are going to be stuck with this unbalanced, one-sided piece of "Made in the USA" copyright legislation. Well, the Minister of Industry Well Mr. Speaker, I note impatience in my honourable friend's voice here in the house in this question. The honorable members knows full well that the copyright bill has been under discussion for a number of years. And he knows full well that international treaties that our country have signed going back ten years, and that there are obligations pursuant to those treaties. But he knows in particular that I'm not at liberty to share this particulars of any piece of legislation until such time as it is tabled in a house and certainly the bill will not be tabled in the house until such time as myself and the Minister of Heritage are satisfied, Mr. Speaker. Politicians like Jim Prentice and Charlie Angus may have set out their views, but many Canadians have ideas of their own. We heard many suggestions in the summer of 2007. So one of the things that the government could do for example is to say that consumers are able to circumvent technological protection measures if the purpose of doing so is to exercise their rights under the private copying system. If you were to create a legal right of interoperability or legal mandate for interoperability I think it would be based on the idea of fairness and what's fair to consumers. Again laws are about balancing interests so if we did fall on a side of what's fair to consumers is there being interoperability for devices then it should be reflected in law I think. Personally I tend to lean towards thinking that it is fair for consumers to be able to purchase various devices, various materials and for them to be able to used interchangeably. The Liberals when they were in government in the last term introduced a bill to reform the copyright act. And one of their provisions was to include a clause that did not allow anti-circumvention devices for the purpose of copyright infringment. And I think that that's the crux that everything revolves around. If you are using an anti-circumvention device for lawful use of copyright material then there is no problem. At this point in time I think a legislative response is necessary not just to cover DRM software on compact discs, but also any type of software that could be installed on your computer. We should have laws in Canada that state if you are going to install software onto a computer you should have to explicitly agree with those terms. And in addition there should be uninstall software that comes packaged with it, so that all traces of the software could be easily removed so that we don't have incidents like the Sony rootkit where companies put software in ways that open up software vulnerabilities, they can't be easily removed and they haven't been properly tested. I think the introduction of DRM if it's not very carefully managed, monitored, controlled and possibly licenced in Canada opens the doorway for almost total snooping on people's comings and goings on the Internet. If libraries do not have an exception to the anti-circumvention legislation they would actually not be able to do their jobs. Maybe we should be considering a concept whereby if that technology is pushed farther than it really needs to be pushed by copyright owners to protect their legitimate interests then maybe the doctrine of misuse and abuse should kick in. So I think what we've established so far and what we can safely say is that the US model is not an ideal one. And Canada should not really be looking to the US as an example of what to do but perhaps as an example of what not to do. When we ask the question about whether we ought to use law to protect TPM and DRM, then in fact there is logically prior question. A question which nobody was asking at that time. A question in essence which is: "Might we need protection from digital rights management systems and TPMs? Might we need laws that in fact limit their use as opposed to just protecting them from circumvention by other users?" We are not in the US, but we already act like the US. There is this kind of pathetic Canadian thing it seems to me. And one of the dangers of it is that we don't know what we might lose if we are to follow the America path. We don't really need the giants standing on our shoulders. We need to be standing on the shoulders of giants.

Video Details

Duration: 47 minutes and 57 seconds
Country: Canada
Language: English
Producer: Michael Geist & Daniel Albahary
Views: 381
Posted by: michaelgeist on Nov 25, 2008

In June 2008, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-61, new copyright legislation that closely followed the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The public response to the bill was both immediate and angry - tens of thousands of Canadians wrote to the Minister and their local Members of Parliament, leading to town hall meetings, negative press coverage, and the growing realization that copyright was fast becoming a mainstream political and policy issue. This film, produced by Michael Geist and Daniel Albahary, asks Canadians from across the country and from a wide range of sectors the question - "why copyright?".

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