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To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express my objections and concerns over the recent proposed reform to Canadian copyright law. The most troubling elements of these proposals are, in my view, the anti-circumvention provisions and the erosion of fair dealing.
If these new measures are passed into law, they will criminalize currently legal and very reasonably actions performed every day by me and most of my family and friends.
Allow me to explain how.
I am a considerable fan of films, and have invested a large amount of money in a quality home theatre, which is rivalled by a further sum on my vast collection of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray content. I'm not looking for a free lunch, and I have no aversion whatsoever to paying a fair price for content I enjoy.
At the heart of my home theatre is a personal computer that runs a free, community-driven operating system called Linux. You might already have heard of Linux, but if you haven't, you've certainly used it without even realizing it. Linux drives many systems from mobile phones, to ATMs, to kiosks, to PCs, all the way to large data centres providing critical, everyday services.
I use Linux to act as a jukebox in my home theatre, playing back the music and movie content I've legally purchased. I furthermore copy my favourite (again, purchased) music to my BlackBerry, so I can enjoy it on the road. In doing so, however, I will be committing the following violations under the proposed copyright legislation:
There is currently no viable option for playing back my DVD and Blu-ray Disc collection under Linux without bypassing anti-circumvention technology combined with format shifting. However, I feel – and I strongly hope you agree — given that I purchased this content, I should be legally entitled to play this content back in the privacy of my home, car, hotel room, etc., with my choice of media playback software.
I therefore implore you to oppose any proposed copyright legislation containing prohibitions against "picking a digital lock" and transferring ("format shifting") legally acquired content to personal playback devices for private use.
These actions are legal under current Canadian copyright law, and they are absolutely vital, non-negotiable rights that must be granted to citizens under any future copyright regime.
Thank you for your time.