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Digital Rights issues and digital copyright lock laws coming to Canada shortly

From the CBC

The government has introduced new copyright legislation that would legalize activities commonly engaged in by thousands of Canadians — such as copying a CD — but which would criminalize breaking digital locks placed on gadgets and media.

The legislation, Bill C-32, proposes enshrining in law some of the following measures:

The express legalization of format shifting, or the copying of content from one device to another, such as a CD to a computer or an iPod.
The express legalization of time shifting, or recording television programs for later viewing but not for the purposes of building up a library.
A “YouTube” clause that allows people to mash up media under certain circumstances, as long as it’s not for commercial gain.
A “notice-and-notice” system where copyright holders will inform internet providers of possible piracy from their customers. The ISP would then be required to notify the customer that he or she was violating the law.
A differentiation of commercial copyright violation versus individual violation. Individuals found violating copyright law could be liable for penalties between $100 and $5,000, which is below the current $20,000 maximum.
New exceptions to fair dealing that will allow copyright violations for the purposes of parody, satire and education.
A key clause regarding the breaking of digital locks, however, could trump many of those other permissions. The bill would make it illegal for a person to crack a digital lock placed on a device, disc or file. It would be illegal to copy a CD or digital song sold with copy protection on it, for example.

A television broadcaster could also air a program with a code inserted into it that would prevent it from being recorded, or that would delete it from a PVR after a certain amount of time. It would be illegal for consumers to attempt to circumvent those codes.

Industry Minister Tony Clement and Heritage Minister James Moore introduced the legislation at the Electronic Arts video game studio in Montreal on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Moore told reporters in Ottawa that the proposed law represented a balanced approach to updating Canada’s laws so that they are in line with other developed nations.

“Consumers and creators both need to be empowered. Every day consumers have to have reassurance what they’re doing isn’t illegal, that what they want to do with their own information is their own choice,” he said.

“But at the same time, we also want to make reassurances that Canada is not going to be an outlier on the international stage when it comes to allowing piracy and the theft of people’s creations.”

More to come

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