ARCHIVED — Scherling
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
Documents received have been posted in the official language in which they were submitted. All are posted as received by the departments, however all address information has been removed.
Submission from Mark Scherling received on August 14, 2001 11:17 PM via e-mail
I'm a concerned citizen who wants to make sure that our copyright laws don't go the way the US laws have gone. The arresting of foreigners and charging them as in the case of the Russian programmer is not exactly protecting copyright when he did point out the flaws in Adobe's e-book.
Again and again the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) abuses the rights of individuals in seeking to throw up barriers to freedom of speech including downloading materials. The fact that they want to oppress discussion around technology that might be used to circumvent security measures that enforce copyright clearly demonstrates that they would rather litigate than lose their position. The reality is that we can either move towards a shared model where they define a small price and allow the freedom or we can continue to encourage the underground movement of hackers and crackers.
I know that we will follow suit with the US and you will ignore the directions people want to take copyright protection. It has been proven throughout history that rule by oppression does not work. There are other methods of copyright protection that doesn't involve police and lawyers. The risk is that people will circumvent these to get what they want, however if the copyright protection is embedded and can be tracked, tehn perhaps we can follow the piece of work.
The problem that you face is that the Internet and computers means that a copy is the same as the original and the speed of propogation is far faster than you can control within your border. The Internet creates borderless states. Read the Cluetrain Manifesto and it will give you a sense of the evolution that is going on.
When I was dealing with the Depertment of Defence we had many discussion over e-originals and e-copies. The problem is what is the original and what is a copy when you have electronic material. The reason this becomes important is to define copyright material especially in electronic art it becomes very hard to prove the original unless you have a good method of audit and control. Which brings us to digital signatures on electronic art. HGmm you could prove that you had the original with a digital signature since the signature is no longer valid if the art work is changed. You could also date and time stamp using a notary function to validate the work.
I'm just not a big fan of encrypting work such that you protect the work from everyone. The ability to share information is far more important than the protection of the work. I understand from a company or artist perspective that you must protect your work and in cases of R&D the work must be protected from competitive and other eyes. However reading many of the cases, the benefits of the copyright protection are only profit motivated and not for the benefit of people. There must be a balance to protect works but at the same time provide access.
I'm worried that if I use a quote (copyrighted work) in a private e-mail or even on paper that I can be sued, dragged to court and charged with an indictable offense. If I use someone elses work as part of my work and it's for commercial gains, then to me that is copyright violation.
So in closing the copyright protection should focus on commercial aspects of protection and not on personal usage.
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