[d at DCC] Help drafting new TPM petition for parliament
russell at flora.ca
Mon Jul 3 10:45:17 EDT 2006
I'm wondering if some people in this forum couldn't help with this
issue by writing articles about it for various BLOGs. I think we need
to have people other than me writing about it, and opening the
Robert Smits wrote:
> Actually, I was after something different. I don't care if content can or can
> not be opened before the copyright expires. I want to demand that the TPM
> stuff expire so that copyrighted material can't be locked up indefinitely
> after the copyright's expiry. If this is difficult or impossible to do, it's
> another argument against using TPMs in the first place.
I'll try going at this a different direction.
If there are no TPMs on devices, what you are asking for is
redundant. I understand what you are asking for, but what you are asking
for is an issue that only exists if there are TPMs on devices.
I think that if our governments legally protect TPMs applies by
non-owners onto devices then we have lost the war. The technology used
to access digital content *WILL* become obsolete (expire) long before
copyright can expire. Only if we are legally allowed to format-upgrade
digital content over time can the content be preserved by an archivist
such that it will exist. There is software that I authored in the
1980's which I can't access currently, and that is without there being
any technical measures. One of my projects is to try to assemble the
hardware necessary to read the floppies to take everything I wrote in my
teens and publish on a website. I don't expect to be successful with
everything, as the media that this information is stored on and the
hardware required to access it has greatly degraded over the last ~20.
This is only 20 years, not live+50 years where I can guarantee you that
it will be impossible to access this media.
Copyright law never said that once a book falls out of copyright that
the past copyright holder (or someone else) is obligated to distribute
free copies of the work to anyone who asks. What falling into the
public domain means is that there is no longer any restrictions on
redistribution that a copyright holder can exert. This means that
anyone who has a copy is now able to make their own copies and
redistribute them as they wish.
If TPMs are not on devices, this means that every authorized
recipient of content has the encrypted content, decryption algorithm and
decryption key necessary to extract the unencrypted content. When the
work falls into the public domain, any of those authorized recipients
can now redistribute it.
If you never had a key (IE: were never an authorized recipient of the
encrypted message), then this is no different than if you were someone
who never had a copy of a book that happened to fall into the public
domain. There isn't, nor do I believe there should be, an obligation
on anyone to distribute copies of works once they are in the public
domain. The public domain should remain simple: That there is no
longer any obligation for people who *have* the content (unencrypted
digital content, physical books, etc) to ask for anyones permission to
do what they want with that content.
Note: This is not to say that I disagree with the clause in the NDP
motion that we spoke about in the past (and that you should publish
here). What it means is that, in my opinion, trying to worry about a
TPM "expiring" when copyright does amounts to a feel-good educational
moment (IE: great for people to realize that TPMs can last longer than
copyright), not something that can actually be achieved in technology.
> I take your point, but it's usually the device owner who installs the software
> that contains TPMs so that they have access to the content. They're coerced
> into doing so, of course, and I agree it does all the things you say, but
> this needs to be patiently explained to people.
We could have a long conversation about who is coercing who: device
manufacturers or content copyright holders. I believe it is the device
manufacturers that are at the root of this problem.
This petition will need explaining, and these educational moments
will be as critically important as the petition itself. What we are
asking for goes outside of what people have been explained so far.
People are not used to thinking of themselves as the true (and only
relevant) owner of their iPod, computer or other such ICT. They get it
when they buy a home that the builder isn't allowed to put locks on the
doors which the owners aren't legally allowed to remove, but somehow
they don't realize the same logic MUST apply to their home computer or
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
2415+ Canadians oppose Bill C-60 which protects antiquated Recording,
Movie and "software manufacturing" industries from modernization.
Send a letter to your Canadian MP! --> http://digital-copyright.ca/
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