Mr. Anthony de Boer
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
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Submission from Mr. Anthony de Boer received on September 15, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Canada Copyright Reform
In response to your consultation on digital copyright issues, there are a few matters of concern:
The issues surrounding "circumvention devices" have caused much controversy in the United States, with the broad provisions of the DMCA. Freedom of expression is infringed, with it becoming impossible to legally criticize or review cryptographic software intended to protect some form of material. In my work, I depend on secure software, and as the DMCA creates an "Emperor's New Clothes" situation with regards to US products, I must assume them all to be fatally flawed. Legitimate research and development is affected if it in any way touches in this area. I would urge my Government to consider carefully the experiences and controversies surrounding the DMCA in our neighbour to the south, and target our laws narrowly at copyright infringement and not catch so many other things with an overly broad brush.
Another issue that relates to cryptographic protection of copyrighted material, although an issue that lies more in the field of the Competition Act, is that such software tends to be proprietary and tends to restrict an end-user's choice of computer operating system to Microsoft Windows, making them even more of a monopoly than they would be in a world in which materials were exchanged in freely-described formats to which any programmer can create display software for any operating system.
Finally, in the area of ISP liability, as I work in that business, I would like to note that Internet communications usually flow through a number of networks between source and destination, and that often a corporate customer will effectively provide the functions of an ISP (end-user access, mail servers, web servers, and the like) in-house and require only a communications pipe from their ISP. Provisions for addressing infringement should focus on contacting the person responsible for the endmost link in the chain, as an ISP one or two links back may not be in a position to take any action more specific than breaking the chain.
Mr. Anthony de Boer
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