ARCHIVÉE — Dave Chapeskie (En anglais seulement)
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Processus de réforme du droit d'auteur
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Les documents reçus seront affichés dans la langue officielle dans laquelle ils auront été soumis. Toutes les suggestions sont affichées comme elles ont été reçues par les ministères; toutefois, toutes les informations sur les adresses ont été enlevées.<
Suggestion de Dave Chapeskie reçue le 11 septembre 2001 par courriel
Objet: Comments on the CPCDI[A paper copy of this letter was sent to:]
Comments -- Government of Canada Copyright Reform
c/o Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
235 Queen Street
5th Floor West
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5
To Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned agencies:
I am writing this letter to express my misgivings regarding the extreme intellectual property provisions of the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPDCI).
The CPDCI provisions give far too much power to publishers at the expense of individuals' rights. Existing copyright law already protects such works. The provisions would amend the Canadian Copyright Act to ban, with few or no exceptions, the creation and use of software and other tools that allow flawed copy prevention technologies to be bypassed. This violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantee freedom of speech and similar guarantees in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Such tools are necessary to exercise lawful uses including reverse engineering, fair use, computer security research, and many others.
Here is a fair use example: a blind person needs to bypass the so called "copy protection" mechanisms on Adobe's e-Books in order to have the text passed to software which reads the text aloud or presents the text on a Braille device. Federal charges have been brought against ElcomSoft, a Russian company, which makes software to do this and to allow other lawful uses of e-Books. Another fair use example: I purchase DVD movies and I believe that gives me the right to view these movies under any reasonably compatible hardware. The only way I can do so is by using software which these provisions (and the DMCA) say is illegal. This is because my only DVD device is a DVD-ROM computer drive and I do not choose to run Microsoft Windows, the only Intel based operating system for which content scrambling system (CSS) decoding software has been licensed. Therefore I have to use software that does run on my operating system (FreeBSD) and that software uses glaring weaknesses in the CSS system in order to access and display the video stream.
Every copy protection system ever designed has had weaknesses, many of them huge weaknesses, and all have been completely ineffective against large scale "pirates" that produce large numbers of illegal copies. Such "pirates" can afford to bypass whatever scheme is put in place so publishers need to use existing laws to punish and discourage such activities instead of outlawing technologies which just impedes the average consumers' rights to use and enjoy copyrighted material they have purchased. Most experts believe that it is impossible to develop fool-proof copy protection for general purpose computing devices, like the typical personal computer. Bruce Schneier, a professional cryptographic annalist and computer security expert, has written on this and the DMCA several times in his Crypto-Gram newsletter available at [www.counterpane.com]. If computer security researchers are not allowed to study these systems and analyse the weaknesses then computer security in general suffers.
The provisions in the CPDCI are based on the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which is under legal challenge in the US. It has stifled computer researchers' and scientists' freedom of expression around the world for fear of being prosecuted in the US like the Russian computer security expert Dmitry Sklyarov. Many professionals have decided it is too risky to visit or hold technical conferences in the United States for fear that US laws will be applied to work done legally in their own countries. I believe the CPDCI measures are just as over-broad as those of the DMCA.
I urge you to remove these controversial and flawed anti-freedom provisions from the CPDCI language. The DMCA is already an international debacle. Its flaws should not be imported and forced on Canadians.
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