ARCHIVED — Muskat
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
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Submission from Ilan Muskat received on July 28, 2001 3:17 PM via e-mail
Subject: Alienation of rights implicit in the United States' DMCA
Anti-circumvention legislation is an intolerable breach of human rights and dignity. It is a blantant affront to the process of intellectual development, and is a step in making corporations more than "persons" under the law, and implies a devaluing of human life altogether.
By legislating that people are not within their rights to examine the workings of a product or process, they must surrender complete trust to the corporation manufacturing this product or process, and forego their own thinking and judgement in the operation of products. Reverse-engineering is a critical source of academic learning and is essential to allow companies to remain competitive with one another. Products cannot otherwise be improved upon, nor can companies compete with a "front-runner" who establishes a patent on a process. The outlawing of "circumvention" makes a wide variety of activities, up until now the foundation of commercial and intellectual progress, subject both to lawsuits and to CRIMINAL prosecution.
All manner of study and learning can be declared illegal under the United States' Digital Millenium Copyright Act. It was passed only with the powerful, anti-democratic lobbying of the entertainment and software industries, whose success, while monetarily significant, is clearly ephemeral and does not share wealth with the rest of their environments. (Witness the collapse of companies such as Nortel and the Dot-Coms of the U.S. San Francisco Bay Area, and the wailing of United States movie distributors as their billion-dollar box-office incomes are not enough to support the salaries of their executive officers). Is Canada simply bowing to this pressure in order to move towards a more corporate form of government?
It makes me extremely angry when pro-corporate forces twist words in order to make such a deplorable form of anti-human legislation seem "essential in order to keep up with global copyright legislation"; if you were concerned with keeping up with global human-rights legislation, you'd be murdering civilians with automatic weapons like in Indonesia, Nigeria or China.
Thank you for your time.
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