Dustin Harriman

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Dustin Harriman



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Submission from Dustin Harriman received on September 18, 2001 via e-mail

Subject: Canadian copyright reform

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

I find the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPCDI) very troubling for a few different reasons I'd like to outline:

The very immediate deadline for comments and sudden introduction of the CPCDI suggests that this legislation is trying to be slipped past Canadians in as quick and quiet a manner as possible. This strongly suggests that the CPCDI, in its current form, is not in the best interests of Canadian citizens like myself.

The immediate adoption of the CPCDI (in its current form) would fly in the face of Canada's current mandate of making Canada one of the most technologically literate nations in the world. If the CPCDI gets passed, Canada is going to be that much less attractive to technically literate and innovative people, such as myself, since the CPCDI is sure to cause the same effects that the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) caused in the US: stifling legitimate security research and scientific inquiry for fear of being prosecuted.

Canadian's tax dollars are stretched far enough already; enforcing the CPCDI would be a foolish allocation of tax dollars. There are many other initiatives that tax dollars should be spent on first, like figuring out how to maximize tax cuts for Canadians while minimizing loss in Canadian's standards of living. Corporations should defend their own encryption mechanisms based on their merit and applicability on a case-by-case basis; they should do just fine without help from the CPCDI, especially considering their ability to hire good lawyers. Corporations should look after their own interests in this respect; this should not be the responsibility of Canadian taxpayers. To make matters worse, it seems obvious that American corporations will benefit the most from the CPCDI.

I used to take pride in the way that Canadian law has avoided many of the major mistakes made in US law, a prime example being the radical differences in treatment of gun control law. The vast majority of technically literate North Americans, including myself, agree that the DCMA was a major mistake (search through slashdot.org's ``older stuff'' for ``DCMA'' at to see extensive proof). Canada playing ``copy-cat'' with the CPCDI would also be a major mistake. It would be especially foolhardy to adopt DCMA-clone legislation given all the legal challenges facing the DCMA currently in the US, the DCMA may be found to be unconstitutional. This means that the US hasn't yet decided if the DCMA is a good idea, let alone Canada figuring that out first.

I would like to see all parts of the CPCDI that restrict the freedom of Canadians be struck down.


Dustin Harriman, B. Sc.
(address removed)

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