Sent the following letter to the info address yesterday. Didn't hear anything back about whether they were considering publishing, so I'm publishing the letter here.



This was an unfortunate one-sided article, with a lot of inaccuracies.

Universal Music Canada is the same company that after infringing on the copyrights of thousands of musicians is now trying to get their insurer to pay for their infringement. It begs the question: if this activity is valid for Universal Music, should lesser infringers like ISOHunt be asking their insurance company to cover any infringement they are alleged to have induced?

Legislation that would enforce "DRM" in copyright law is unjustifiable. When proponents are being honest they will admit that the desire is to ensure that one party in a contractual dispute is able to threaten statutory damages, while the other is not. The purpose is to circumvent the balance that exists in contract law, not protect copyright.

Copy control is a marketing term, not a real technology. Any rules which exist, including whether something can be copied, is encoded in software running on computer hardware (devices). What we have is computer control, and we should really be asking whether corporate copyright holders like UMC or devices manufacturers should ultimately control our computers, or whether owners should.

I doubt we would even be having this discussion if we were talking about any other type of property. The governments would never legally protect non-owner locks to all guns in a country where many are uncomfortable with the mere registration of long guns. Governments would also never legally protect non-owner locks on our homes, alleging for example that it was necessary to protect the insurance industry from fraud. Finally, governments would never legally protect non-owner locks on our cars, allegedly to ensure that automobiles could never be used as a getaway vehicle. Why should we allow someone other than the owner to control what we can and can't do on our computers?

What is being asked for is to legalise the infringement of the property rights of technology owners. Why is it that people with such little respect for the property rights of others are given such an open forum for their dishonest lobbying?

The copyright portions of Bill C-11 strike an appropriate balance between a wide variety of stakeholders. The "technological protection measures" portions of C-11 enable and legally protect infringement, and should be amended to minimise the damage to the Canadian economy. One way to accomplish this and still ratify the antiquated 1996 WIPO treaties (treaties which pre-date the most recent overhaul of Canadian copyright law in 1997) is to closely tie any protection for these uses of technology to copyright infringing activities.

Note: Bill C-11 does not harmonise Canadian Copyright law with US law. US law is already less strict than Canadian law, given their robust Fair Use regime. Their "technological measures" provisions also have a tie to infringing purposes, something that C-11 lacks. Far from creating certainty, Bill C-11 will increase differences between Canadian and US law.

I wrote a FAQ on C-32 which may be helpful.
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