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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 Andy Adler received on September 10, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Comments on Digital Copyright Reform
To Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned agencies:
I have read the "Consultation Paper on the Application of the Copyright Act's Compulsory Retransmission Licence to the Internet" and it seems strongly biased in favour of copyright holders, taking rights away from the Canadian public in the process.
These proposals seem to be based largely on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which, in numerous cases over the last years, has had a strong negative impact on 1) scientists and computer security researchers 2) freedom of expression in general. By banning, with few exceptions, tools that allow copy prevention technologies to be bypassed, freedom of speech would be violated, since such techologies are necessary to exercise lawful uses, including fair use, reverse engineering, computer security research and many others.
The proposed provisions, which serve no one but (largely American) corporate copyright interests, are just as over broad as those of the DMCA.
Many computer security professionals and conference organizations have stated an intention to boycott holding future conferences in the US, in order to protect presenters from arbitrary arrest for "trafficking in a circumvention device", as happened in the case of Dmitri Skylarov. If Canada modifies the CPDCI to avoid the over broad restrictions of the DCMA, then many of these organizations would be drawn to conducting computer security research and holding conferences in Canada. This computer security know-how would benefit Canada far more than the protection of a few (mostly American) corporate copyright interests.
Furthermore, the paper contains contains a misunderstanding of the nature of digital copyright technologies, which seem to reinforce some of over broad remedies proposed.
The following misunderstandings are from the section, "general premises and assumptions":
1) While it is true that "Internet-based infringers ... may operate from within jurisdictions that provide relatively little copyright protection.", this problem cannot be addressed by Canadian legislation. Often, copyright holders will raise this issue as a "scare tactic" - but it does not belong in this discussion.
2) Additionally, it is true that "Some rights holders ... would make their material available if they could control when and how their material would be disseminated". However, this is impossible. The Internet has shown time and time again that material that can be viewed can be copied. It is of course possible to have penalties for copying, but rights holders cannot technologically control dissemination.
Protecting copyright is important, but that should be achieved by directly penalysing infringing activity, not by legistation that also censors much lawful speech. This proposed legislation would instead turn scientists, fair users, journalists, programmers, and archivists into criminals.
I urge you to remove these controversial and anti-freedom provisions from the CPDCI language. The DMCA is already an international debacle. Its flaws should not be imported and forced on Canadians.
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