[d@DCC] petition fact sheet
wuth at castrov.cuug.ab.ca
Tue May 17 04:31:25 EDT 2005
Here's my second draft of the fact sheet aimed at a techie audience.
It's intended to supplement the other information that will be
available at the Richard Stallman presentation on Wednesday:
* General petition information:
Please let me know what I've got right/wrong. I'm planning to
finalize this tomorrow evening.
The Change to Copyright
- Government bureaucrats recommended in 2001 DMCA-style changes to
Canadian copyright law. The DMCA is a highly controversial copyright
law in the US. The Canadian Ministers of Heritage and Industry are
currently in the process of drafting such a bill.
What will become Illegal to do with Your Computer
- Encryption is used by software with the intent to control the use
of copyrighted works.
- Encryption is described as "Technological Protection Measures
(TPM)" in Canada, or "Digital Rights Management (DRM)" in the US.
- TPM does not, in fact, prevent copying. It can be circumvented.
- Encrypted files can be copied in their encrypted form.
- The user's computer has to have the decryption key in order
to be able to use the files. As long as the user has control
over their computer, they can with the right knowledge extract
the key and use it where and how they desire.
- The proposed changes to the Copyright Act would make it illegal
to circumvent TPM.
- There are legitimate reasons why one would circumvent TPM.
- to backup data
- to translate files from one program to another
- to use data on computers other than those specified
(e.g. UNIX vs. MS-Windows)
- to reverse-engineer an interface and create compatible software
- for research and private study
- for criticism, review and news reporting
- All are allowed under the current copyright law
- It is already illegal to make infringing copies of copyrighted
works. The proposed legislation would make it illegal to circumvent
TPM even for legitimate reasons.
- regular users would be unnecessarily restricted
- criminals would not be further deterred as they are already
breaking the current Copyright Act.
The People Pushing the Changes:
- the bureaucrats responding to international (WIPO) and US pressure
- the entrenched old-media industry that wishes to prevent
business model changes that have come with the Internet
- "Collective Societies" that want to be paid automatically
by the government levies for assumed copyright infringements.
About The Petition
- The petition calls for the right to personally control your own
communications devices, such as computers. You should have the right
to backup and translate data from those devices and interface with them
in new ways.
- The supreme court case "CCH Canadian Ltd v. the Law Society" found
that the existing copyright law provides rights to users.
"User rights are not just loopholes."
(The case started about photocopiers in libraries.)
- Copyright currently lasts for 50 years after the life of the author.
The current proposed changes does not affect that. But there
have been surprise changes on this in the past.
Brett Wuth wuth at castrov.cuug.ab.ca wuth at acm.org
Box 1251-U, Pincher Creek, Alberta T0K 1W0, CANADA Tel:+1 403 627-2460
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What is the meaning of life?! Yes.
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