Emily R. Ezust
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
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Submission from Emily R. Ezust received on September 13, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: comments on proposed legislation
To Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned agencies:
I am writing to express my deep concern over the proposed intellectual property provisions of the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPCDI). They are based on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which is already under legal challenge in the US for violating the right of freedom of expression. The CPDCI provisions are just as chillingly anti-freedom as those of the DMCA.
These provisions will amend the Canadian Copyright Act to ban, with few 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, since such tools are necessary to exercise lawful uses, including fair dealing, computer security research and many others. For example, some pieces of software have mechanisms to force users to keep the CD in the drive as they are using the software, but this can be circumvented with technology widely-available on the Internet. While at first glance, this may seem like a clear copyright infringement, but it is not always so! Suppose one's only computer is a laptop. Many laptops are much more portable without cumbersome CD-ROM drives; personally, I leave mine disconnected unless I need it, and I leave it at home when I travel. This legislation would criminalize me for bypassing the copy-prevention mechanisms to make a copy of a software CD onto my hard-drive so that I don't have to lug my CD-ROM drive around. Remember, I bought the software legally and I am merely trying to use it in a way that is convenient for myself. No other computers are involved, only my own. Is this not "fair dealing"? I cannot stress how disturbing it is to imagine the precedent this would set if software publishers could dictate so precisely and minutely how one would be allowed to use legally-purchased products.
I urge you to remove these controversial and anti-freedom provisions from the CPDCI. The DMCA is already an international debacle. Its flaws should not be imported and forced on Canadians.
Emily R. Ezust
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