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I would like to submit a formal response to the questions at http://copyright.econsultation.ca/topics-sujets/show-montrer/18 .
This is the official submission of Roaring Penguin Software Inc.
Q1. How do Canada's copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
A1. As a software producer, Roaring Penguin Software Inc. relies on copyright law to protect its rights to its software. We distribute both Free Software (licensed under the GNU General Public License) and traditional proprietary software, and both kinds of software rely heavily on copyright law for protection of our interests.
Existing laws should be modernized very carefully. We would like to see:
Q2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?
A2. The changes should be made slowly and carefully, with the full input of both creators and users of copyrighted material. In particular, any claims of statistics regarding losses due to copyright infringement should be examined carefully; the Government should not accept such statistics on face value.
Q3. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
A3. In order to prevent restrictions on innovation and creativity, any copyright changes that restrict technological exploration must be avoided. In particular, changes that prevent the circumvention of "Technological Protection Measures" have a chilling effect on interoperability and innovation, and must be avoided at all costs.
The changes to the law should strive to formulate copyright policy and what happens if copyright is infringed. They should not limit technological exploration or impose restrictions on technologies that could possibly be used for infringement, but that often have valid non-infringing uses.
Q4. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
A4. Stronger pentalties against wilful infringement, but no restrictions against reverse-engineering, security research, etc.
Q5. What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?
A5. Stronger pentalties against wilful infringement, but no restrictions against reverse-engineering, security research, etc.
David F. Skoll
President, Roaring Penguin Software Inc.