ARCHIVÉE — Harold S. Thompson (En anglais seulement)
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Suggestion de Harold S. Thompson reçue le 11 septembre 2001 par courriel
Objet: Canadian copyright reform
To Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned agencies:
I recently learned of the proposal to change Canada's copyright laws, especially those concerning Intellectual Property, and after looking at the proposed changes, I must say I'm appalled that my government would even think of introducing such terrible legislation.
The proposal I read bears a striking resemblance the the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act or DMCA. From my interpretation of the proposal, an enormous amount of power is being given to the publishers, and none private individuals. Already we pay a tax on each blank CD we purchase to make up for any losses that the recording industry might take. Would this tax be repealed if the new laws go through, I doubt it.
The current copyright act gives me the right to make a backup copy of any book, video, tape or cd I own. The new law wouldn't so much change that, as make it illegal to create anything that can circumvent the protection that companies place upon their products, such as macrovision. This ineffect cancels my ability to make a backup copy of something I have paid good money for. I've spent good money to purchase music in the past, only to have a cd develop a scratch, or a stereo eat a cassette tape. Without the ability to make a backup copy, I'd have to spend the money to buy a whole new copy. I'd much rather do the smart thing, which is to purchase item, make a backup copy, put the purchased item away and use the backup copy. That way if it gets damaged, I'm only out a $1.25 or so and a little bit of time.
Right now in the United States, the DMCA is causing nothing but problems for all but a select few. There are research scientists who are threatened with lawsuits should they publish their findings; products are being sent to market with 'secure encryption' that I could break in my head (how secure is it if I don't even need a computer to decrypt it); and many other examples of the follies being commited in the name of Intellectual Property.
I work for a computer programming company, consequently I know that software piracy is a definate possibility of any package produced. However, prett much anything produced as a product today could be used as a tool in the perpetration of a crime. That chair your sitting in could crush someones skull, that TV your watching could convey the information you need to steal a car, that newspaper your reading could be used to start a fire. Does this mean that we should make it illeagal for people to make chairs, tv's or newspapers? Of course not, that would be ludicrous, but that is effective what is being proposed. Just because a technology can be created to copy something, doesn't mean every use of that item is going to be illegal. Hell, walk into Future Shop and look at the personal stereos, a large percentage of them can play the dreaded MP3 file, the file format that started this all. Should progress be stalled because a small group of individuals could loose a little bit of money? NO! Had the US Recording industry embraced these fringe movements and seen them for what they really are, they would not be in the position they are now, dealing with Napster and all the other P2P software packages available for use.
These provisions would amend the Canadian Copyright Act to ban, with few or no exceptions, software and other tools that allow copy prevention technologies to be bypassed. This would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee of freedom of speech, and similar guarantees in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, since such tools are necessary to exercise lawful uses, including fair dealing, reverse engineering, computer security research and many others.
I urge you to remove these controversial and anti-freedom provisions from the CPDCI language. The DMCA is already an international debacle. Its flaws should not be imported and forced on Canadians.
Harold S. thompson
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