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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
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Submission from Greg White received on September 12, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright IssuesTo: Industry Canada, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate, and other
I'm writing to express some grave concerns regarding the provisions outlined
in the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPDCI). These
provisions appear to be quite clearly based on the recent U.S. Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and the policies outlined in both acts are
deeply troubling to me.
As written, both acts would make illegal devices 'for the purpose' of
circumventing digital copyrights. Due to the broadness of this definition
(which is effectively determined by the copyright holder making a complaint
citing these provisions), nearly any piece of everyday computer software,
including (but not restricted to) compilers, computer security tools, and
encryption software, can be considered to be 'for the purpose' of
circumvention (which is obviously not the case, but would require large
amounts of time and great legal expense on the part of the accused).
The proposed Canadian CPDCI, also outlaws 'Fair Use' copying of information.
Consider if it was made illegal to give a book you have purchased and read
to your friend -- how many of us would be criminals at that point?
The provisions in the CPDCI, as written, place all the power in the hands of
(largely) US based companies, and take away all rights of Canadian citizens
to fair use, free speech (see the recent US case of Felten v. RIAA --
http://www.eff.org/Legal/Cases/Felten_v_RIAA/ -- these provisions prevented
Professor Felten from even presenting a paper discussing the weak encryption
proposed by the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI). ). Computer security
professionals frequently present papers discussing flaws in encryption
technology or commercial software, thus allowing computer professionals the
ability to make intelligent choices in the softwares they utilize, or create
versions of the software that do not contain these flaws -- the provisions
as written make this illegal as well, to the detriment of the world computer
community, and thus nearly all citizens of the modern world. US based
computer professionals are afraid to publish, due to these restrictions in
the currently enacted DMCA, and other professionals from around the world
are now afraid to enter the US, for fear of arrest on DMCA-related charges.
Please do not make Canada a party to the same sort of farce the United
States is currently playing out. I urge you, please remove these
controversial and anti-freedom provisions from the CPDCI.
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