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PROCESSUS DE RÉFORME DU DROIT D'AUTEUR
SUGGESTIONS REÇUES RELATIVEMENT AUX DOCUMENTS DE CONSULTATION
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Suggestion de Donovan Hill reçue le 28 juillet 2001 17h08 par courriel
Objet : COPYRIGHT REFORM
To Whom It May Concern:
I'd like to make my opinion known as a voting citizen by Birth of the Dominion of Canada.
I am a Computer Professional currently working in the industry as a Network Technician and System Administrator.
I understand the need by governments and corporations to create new copyright legislation. The world today is shifting from an analog domain of audio cassettes and FM radio, to a digital domain of CDs, MP3s and Digital Broadcasting (okay, CDs have been around since 1990....), from Dead Tree Documentation (read: books) to Electronic Documentation, from Letter Mail to e-mail.
There is no disputing that copying Digital information is exact and essentially effortless, and I support and understand the industries legitimate concern that they only have to sell one e-book and it can conceivably be reproduced flawlessly and effortlessly around the world. I support the concept that there needs to be adequate protections for copyright holders to their copyrights (and by extension, revenue streams).
I think we need to make sure that the right of copyright holders to receive fair compensation for their work is protected. At the same time I think that we also need to balance the rights of consumers as well. I believe that the consumer has the following rights. The ability to make arbitrary backups of all digital information. The ability to give away or loan digital information, just like giving a book to a friend, or loaning a CD to a friend arbitrarily.
By Arbitrarily, I mean that if I should decide to backup my digital music, I don't believe that I should have to call the publisher or the software author/manufacturer to create the backup or restore the backup.
I also believe that should a computer fail, and a new one be installed in its place, that I should not have to contact the software publisher or the media publisher to re-activate my digital content that I previously backed-up.
In all of this, I believe that we need to make sure that we think of the library system. The library system provides a valuable service to those that cannot afford to purchase books by allowing the to borrow books for free. We need to make sure that this is still possible with digital media.
And above all, I believe that we should look at the U.S.A.'s DMCA legislation, not as a framework for our own legislation, but as an example of what not to do. The DMCA makes it a federal crime of 5 years in prison and $500,000 fine for writing software that would enable the end-user to uphold the rights that I have defined above. It also makes it a criminal offence to discuss principles behind decryption. This severely curtails academic discussion.
It is my opinion that the DMCA is horribly skewed toward industry interests and is an issue which really belongs in civil court, not criminal court.
We must make it clear that writing software that defeats encryption systems or reverse engineering encryption systems is not a crime. These programs have a legitimate use of protecting consumer interests and rights. As Canadians, we need to make sure that our computer industry and academics and citizens are protected from frivolous lawsuits and criminal charges at the behest of companies that failed to properly protect the rights of copyright holders.
It is my personal view that companies that wish to do this are only scapegoating their own inadequacies onto somebody else.
We cannot allow our rights as citizens to be trampled on by rights of industry.
It is my hope that I have made Parliament aware of these issues, and I have faith that Parliament and the Senate will act with prudence and forethought and balance when drafting and approving this legislation.
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