Barry Shell

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Barry Shell

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 Barry Shell received on September 11, 2001 via e-mail

Subject: Please do not copy US DMCA legislation

RE: Government of Canada Copyright Reform

To Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned agencies:

I am a Vancouver technology writer working at a university and I write to express my grave concern regarding the extreme intellectual property provisions of the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPCDI).

These measures, based on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), give far too much power to publishers, at the expense of indivduals' and author's rights. The DMCA itself is already under legal challenge in the US, has gravely chilled scientists' and computer security researchers' freedom of expression around the world for fear of being prosecuted in the US, and resulted in the arrest of a Russian programmer. The CPDCI provisions, which serve no one but a few American corporate copyright interests, are just as overbroad as those of the DMCA.

These provisions would amend the Canadian Copyright Act to ban, with few or no exceptions, software and other tools that allow copy prevention technologies to be bypassed. This would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee of freedom of speech, and similar guarantees in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, since such tools are necessary to exercise lawful uses, including fair dealing, reverse engineering, computer security research and many others.

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.

For more of my views, please visit my personal web page (http://www.css.sfu.ca/update/barry.html) and read some of my writings on this topic which go into much greater detail, notably: Can You Copyright Bits?, Online Privacy: get over it, Ethical Hacking , Dot-Com Reality Check, Digital Media Wants to be Free, Dark Side of Dot-Com. Most of these were first published in the Georgia Straight in Vancouver BC.


Sincerely,


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