ARCHIVED — A Chris Brand
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
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Reply comment from Chris Brand received on September 18 , 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Comment after reading submissions
I read with interest the submissions posted on your website at http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/rp00007e.html. A few points made struck me as particularly insightful :
1. Dennis Grant's watermelon analogy, July 30th - it's very interesting to consider how our use of legally-purchased IP is far more restricted than our use of legally-purchased traditional goods.
2. Robert MacDonald's (and others') comments that preventing the circumvention of encryption doesn't prevent duplication of encrypted works and doesn't make any difference to those who make a living from distributing copyright-infringing works.
3. Adam Shostack's comment that digital rights management information is already protected as being part of the copyrighted work (29 Aug). I didn't realise this when I made my own comments.
4. Several respondents noted that a "notice and takedown" requirement for ISPs bypasses the courts and removes the right to a fair trial and to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Having read these comments, I agree that it doesn't seem to onerous to require that copyright holders obtain a court order before any offending material must be removed. the courts are, in general, very good at imposing temporary measures to minimize damage while cases are resolved.
5. Some respondents noted the similarity of the publishing industry's lobbying to that which occurred with the introduction of the VCR. It is worth noting that there was also a considerable outcry when the printing press, radio broadcasting, the cassette tape, the photocopier and public libraries first made an appearance. Some of those did prove to have a significant impact on the industries in question. In many cases the impact was positive. Some lead to entirely new industries. In all cases, the industry lobbyists endeavoured to suppress these technologies to maintain the status quo and our economy would be significantly worse if they had been successful.
One final comment that occurred to me while reading the submissions is this : Apparently, the Government's aim is that Canada "become a world leader in supplying on-line content as well as exciting new software and applications". In my opinion, you don't encourage the distribution of electronic content by placing more restrictions on the use of electronic content than exists for physical media. This is partly why the publishing industry has failed to sell significant numbers of electronic books - why would I buy an electronic book that I can only read for a limited time on one specific machine and that I can't resell when I've finished with it rather than a paperback with none of these restrictions ?
Incidentally, in my own submission, I neglected to mention that I am a Canadian citizen, software engineer and educator.
Speaking for myself.
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