Canadian Copyright Reform Fight [10:49 am]
The Creators Copyright Coalition’s report, released Monday, calls for artists to be given the sole right “to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form” and “to transfer the work or any substantial part thereof to another medium.”
The group, which includes the Writers Guild of Canada and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, also wants Internet service providers (ISPs) to “share in the responsibility” for their online content, and to “share liability” when copyright infringement occurs on their networks.
The bill, which could be introduced as early as next week, is expected to use the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a model. Since its enactment in 1998, the U.S. law has been roundly criticized on privacy, security and consumer protection grounds.
At issue are rumoured provisions in a Canadian DMCA that would provide legal protection for digital locks, often referred to as digital rights management (DRM). Stoddart notes that if “DRM technologies only controlled copying and use of content, our Office would have few concerns.” However, those same technologies can be used to collect personal information that is “transmitted back to the copyright owner or content provider, without the consent or knowledge of the user.”
While there are tools to stop this unwanted form of surveillance, Stoddart warns that Prentice and Verner’s proposed reforms could render their use illegal. In fact, even if they insert an exception for privacy protection into the bill, the tools could still be banned, leaving Canadians with the legal right to protect their privacy but without the means to do so.
For more details, see Plan to modernize copyright law could make everyday habits illegal (pdf); Striking down the iPod tax (pdf); and Canadian netroots rise up against Tory copyright plans (pdf)