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keneng's Journal: Canada Bill C-61 undermines user digital rights

Journal by keneng

For all the Canadian Slashdotters out there,
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080613.wgtcopyrightchat0613/CommentStory/Technology/home/
"send a letter to those responsible for Bill C-61 in Ottawa in less than a minute by completing this letter wizard provided by the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights:
http://www.ccer.ca/send-a-letter-to-harper-prentice-verner-and-stop-the-canadian-dmca/
"

Here's the template letter:

6/19/2008

To: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
To: The Honourable Jim Prentice
To: The Honourable Josée Verner
CC: The Honourable Scott Brison (Liberal Critic)
CC: Peggy Nash (NDP Critic)

Subject: I am concerned about Canadian Copyright Bill C-61

Dear Ministers,

I have been closely following the recent developments in Canadian copyright law and I am very concerned with the contents of Bill C-61, entitled An Act to Amend the Copyright Act presented by the government on June 12, 2008. Contrary to the media spin and a handful of headline-grabbing provisions, this Bill clearly adopts the American approach to digital copyright law. I find this very troubling. The most worrisome component of Bill C-61 is the anti-circumvention provisions, which undermines each of the new made-in-Canada user rights being used to sell this legislation to the Canadian public.

It is unreasonable to accept legislation that gives consumers rights with one hand and quickly takes them away with the other. By creating a blanket prohibition on circumvention tools and devices for bypassing digital locks or TPMs, Canadians are effectively locked out of their own digital content, even if accessing that content is permitted by the Copyright Act. I feel that it is essential that Canadian copyright laws advance consumer and creator interests by not employing an all-encompassing prohibition on the development and manufacturing of circumvention devices and technologies, commercial trade of circumvention devices and technologies, the possession and/or utilization of any device or technology that can circumvent a TPM or DRM for a non-infringing purpose or otherwise lawful activity such as fair dealing, interoperability, time and format shifting.

Fortunately, there is still time to amend Bill C-61 to ensure that the rights, values and interests of all Canadians are reflected in a truly Canadian-to-the-core approach to copyright reform. In the coming weeks and months, I urge the government to engage in meaningful consultation with Canadian consumers and creators, thereby opening up the development of Canadian copyright policy to more than just the corporate interests which have lobbied for this Bill behind the scenes.

Sincerely,

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Canada Bill C-61 undermines user digital rights

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