for more information contact

On Trump
Bob Dylan - Wisdom is Thrown Into Jail
Bob Dylan: Tempest
Adam West voices the Dark Knight
Apple's Calendar Inconsistency
Is Pono Dead?
Inbox Zero is Old News: Welcome to Inbox Negative One
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Effects Reel
Evolution of Stop Motion Photography
7 Story Cycling Centric Apartments

What Happened to Jai Alai?
Greatest Text Conversation Ever
Quarry Rock in the Rain
Careless Reckless Love
Electricity, Heights and Women
Daniel Lanois and his AC30
How Can You Just Leave Me Standing Alone in a World So Cold
Today Was a Tough Day
The Resonant Frequency of Love - Rocco DeLuca with Daniel Lanois
Dan Mangan - Forgetery
Birch Tree: Toronto, 2016
Japan's Disposable Workers
Jeff Tweedy Plays Charades with Ewan McGregor
Steph Cameron at the Railway Club (February 1, 2016)
Wilco at the CityFolk Festival, Ottawa (September 20, 2015)
Rice Lake, North Vancouver
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Running Away
Stanley Rohatinski: 1925 - 2015
Chewie...we're home!

November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
October 2015
April 2015
March 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
August 2014
May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
July 2003
June 2003
January 2003
November 2002
October 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
May 2001
April 2001
January 2001
October 1999


your blue hood
Thin Systems
Listen to the Bell, Mr. Premier...It Tolls for Thee
Gordon Campbell Won't Run Again?
Bike Maintenance Lessons: Disc Brake Pads
Cycling is Mainstream Transportation
Brave New World: The Musical
Perennial Also Ran?
Daniel Lanois and his AC30
Dan Mangan - Forgetery

I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
And the eyes they were / a colour I can't remember / which says more / from verse to verse
— A.C. Newman, There are Maybe 10 or 12
June 9, 2010
Michael Geist & Tony Clement on Copyright Reform

Michael Geist, Canada’s most recognized expert in online rights, writes thoughtfully about the government’s proposed copyright reforms in The Tyee.

Mr. Clement, Loosen Those Digital Locks!
Unfortunately, the legal protection for digital locks — unquestionably the biggest and most controversial digital copyright issue — is the one area where there is no compromise. Despite a national copyright consultation that soundly rejected inflexible protections for digital locks on CDs, DVDs, e-books, and other devices, the government has caved to U.S. pressure and brought back rules that mirror those found in the United States. These rules limit more than just copying as they can also block Canadian consumers from even using products they have purchased.

Interestingly, on the same topic, I received a response to a note I sent to CBC Radio’s Spark about their coverage of the copyright act which seems to suggest that Tony Clement hasn’t read and certainly doesn’t understand the act that he’s rewriting.

Surprised? Read on.

In an article titled Industry minister admits to breaking copyright law to build iPod collection the National Post quoted Industry Minister Tony Clement as saying this (the emphasis is mine):

“Well you see, you know I think I have to admit it probably runs afoul of the current law because the current law does not allow you to shift formats. So the fact of the matter is I have compact discs that I’ve transferred, I have compact discs from my children or my wife that I’ve transferred onto my iPod. None of that is allowable under the current regime,” Mr. Clement, a music buff who also legally purchases songs from iTunes to build a digital database that now stands at 10,452 songs.

The thing is, current copyright law in Canada explicitly allows the duplication of music for personal use. Section 80 of the current copyright act states:

80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of
(a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,
(b) a performer’s performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or
© a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer’s performance of a musical work, is embodied
onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer’s performance or the sound recording.

The act is quite clear in providing the exemption, and provides it only for musical work[s] embodied in a sound recording. No such exemption is provided for video recordings or written works, though various court rulings have clearly extended the fair use doctrine to protect the latter. Photocopying portions of a book or magazine for research purposes has been explicitly recognized as legal by the Supreme Court while photocopying an entire novel for the purposes of reading it would likely be illegal.

The Canadian Recording Industry Association argued Section 80 didn’t apply to digital copies, and Geist commented on this in 2005, saying:

Second, CRIA recently argued that the private copying right does not apply to copies made to personal computers. A review of the legislative history of private copying provides little support for this interpretation, however, as the statute was intentionally drafted in a technology neutral fashion such that it could be applied to new copying media, including computer hard drives.

but the senior minister seems to have missed that.

The new proposed copyright legislation—Bill C32—is being sold to the Canadian public as ‘making legal what most people are already doing’ while protecting the rights of content creators and owners. In fact, it does exactly the opposite by making it illegal to break what’s being referred to as “digital locks.” Since there’s no such thing as a digital lock, it’s reasonable to presume that the minister is using this as an analogy to refer to encryption or copy protection in almost any form.

Music CDs are essentially the only digital format that currently ships without any form of encryption. The Compact Disc was, in fact, the first mass produced and mass marketed type of digital media. While software had long been sold with various forms of copy protection ranging from serial numbers to old tricks like inserting known bad sectors into legal copies (illegal copies that didn’t match the known bad sectors would fail) Compact Discs had no such protection. The industry tried to introduce new formats to replace the Compact Disc—Audio DVD and SACD were the most notable attempts—but failed. With little noticeable difference in sound quality, consumers didn’t bite. Every format introduced since (including digital downloads of music) has included a digital lock in the form of content encryption. They’ve all been broken, but the locks are there nonetheless.

Because the copyright act explicitly allows the duplication of music, including format shifting, the new provisions of Bill C-32 give the Canadian Public nothing and, in fact, may take away some rights that aren’t explicitly codified. I keep Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity on my laptop. I own the complete DVD set, but copied them—format shifting as Minister Clement would say—to make them easier to carry, and to serve as a backup copy protecting the original media.

Under the current copyright act this might be legal under the fair use doctrine, although it’s not explicitly legalized because its not a sound recording but a video recording the nobody’s lost anything here. It’s the same principle as copying my music for personal use: I just want to watch what I legally own in another format. What use is my iPhone if it doesn’t have Captain Tightpants and his crew on it?

Under Bill C-32 this would be illegal. The DVDs I copied them from were encrypted with a digital lock, and despite the fact that I bought them legally C-32 restricts my right to do what I did. It would require me to purchase them.

Tony Clement isn’t giving us anything, but he is taking something away. What annoys me most is that he doesn’t even seem to know this. I’d expect a senior minister to at least read and understand a piece of legislation before writing its replacement.

More Reading

Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights
Michael Geist
Lang Michener on Bill C-32
Bill C-32 as introduced in Parliament

Posted by skooter at 4:37 PM This entry is filed under Music, Politics.
This entry is tagged: CBC, Copyright, Michael Geist, Tony Clement

blog comments powered by Disqus