On Thursday the Canadian government introduced the Copyright Modernization Act (or Bill C-32).
The CBC does a good job of outlining the proposed changes to Canadian copyright law.
The bill is an attempt to strike a fair balance between:
- Our ability to monetize creativity. -vs- Our ability to re-purpose culture.
- A creator’s right to control their works. -vs- A consumer’s rights to experience purchased media flexibly and in perpetuity.
There are things to like in this bill. The format-shifting, time-shifting and backup provisions are long-overdue, as is the expansion of fair-dealings1. The non-commercial “mash-up/youtube” provisions are indeed progressive.
However, any and all use-rights provided by the bill are revoked if the work in questions is protected by a digital lock. This immediately makes backing up DVDs illegal. It also makes viewing DVDs using the Linux operating-system illegal2. Copying a quote from a DRM-locked e-book for a book report or a news story would be illegal too.
The supremacy of digital-locks promoted by this bill must not be allowed to pass into law. If you value free-speech, your ability to re-purpose culture, and your right to use your purchased media as you see fit, I ask that you write your Member of Parliament to express your displeasure over the DRM provisions in Bill C32. (If anything, a bill that includes DRM provisions should mandate explicit labeling of all digitally-locked media.)
I recommend following these tips on discussing bill C32 with your MP. For the most impact, voice your displeasure using hand-written snail-mail.
Fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire would not infringe copyright. Parody and satire were not previously considered fair dealings in Canada.
In order to view legally purchased DVDs using the Linux OS one must break the digital locks on the DVDs. The reason for this is that the DVD industry has not provided any other way to view DVDs when using open-source software. Since I use Linux for all my DVD viewing, C32 would make watching movies a criminal activity for me.