Thursday, June 03, 2010

New Canadian IP Law

By the way, the Canadians have put a new bill forward enacting something a bit like the DMCA. It's a fascinating little bait-and-switch. It reduces the costs for individual, non-commercial infringement, adds exceptions for mashups and whatnot, and allows for parody and satire and education and all that sort of thing. No notice-and-takedown either. Sounds good, right?

...Except that, just like the DMCA, you'll get slapped down if you break DRM. At all. No personal use exemption. Big, big fine for doing it.

It's amazing. In one stroke, in one line, the rest of it is totally invalidated. You can't do anything with media without breaking DRM, since DRM is on everything! It's on DVDs, it's on games, it's on online video, it's on the vast majority of online music, it's on e-books, it's on everything. The only exceptions are CDs and actual books, both of which are probably going to start getting phased out precisely because of this DRM stuff.

Geist is cautiously optimistic. I'm much less so. It's clear that the rest of the provisions are a farce without (at the very least) a personal, fair-use exemption for the DRM bit. It's a trojan horse, and Canada shouldn't let it through the gate.

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