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Canada Says No To DMCA 590

Posted by Hemos
from the praise-canada dept.
P Starrson writes " The Canadian government has reportedly said no to the DMCA. It released its plans for copyright reform today with a limited anti-circumvention provision that would not cover the likes of DeCSS. It even avoided the U.S. "notice and takedown system" that has caused a big headache for U.S. ISPs. A good summary is available from Canadian law professor Michael Geist. "
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Canada Says No To DMCA

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  • Good step? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LegendOfLink (574790) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:24PM (#12040828) Homepage
    Seriously, why can't the US government learn to keep their noses out of every aspect in our lives?!
    • Re:Good step? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wankledot (712148)
      OK, I'll bite.

      The DMCA was not designed to put the government's nose into every aspect of your life. I was designed by content providers/creators to help them enforce their perceived rights as copyright owners in the face of what they saw as an attack.

      It's not The Big Bad Government trying to nose its way into our lives, it's one group of people (content providers/owners) trying to make sure that what they perceive as their best interests are protected through the law.

      That doesn't make it right of course,

      • Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

        by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:44PM (#12041034) Journal
        Plain and simple, while these ppl are trying to change the law to their advantage, it is politicians who are doing so. ppl like Utah's senator, Hatch. Many do it not because it is good for America, but because they are gaining personally. That is bad politics.

        In other cases, Politicians will do something as a cause and try to make it look like they are doing the right thing, when in reality they know it is wrong, but simply wish to have something for the election.
        • Bad Example (Score:5, Interesting)

          by adiposity (684943) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:12PM (#12041324)
          Actually, Hatch is both. He owns and collects royalties on a catalog of songs he's written. He just happens to be in a unique position to (theoretically) help himself out by enforcing copyright.

          -Dan
        • Re:Not really (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dbIII (701233) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @09:38PM (#12041978)
          Many do it not because it is good for America, but because they are gaining personally.
          To make things far worse the movie studios blatently do things that look a lot like fraud to avoid tax (eg. "Forrest Gump" lost money on paper despite huge ticket sales and not costing a great deal to make) and doing a great deal offshore (helps my country when they film stuff set in Sth California here, but it doesn't help you guys. So they get disproportionate representation without much taxation to impede those that do pay tax with draconian laws, and don't contribute much to the economy either - when that sort of stuff happens in a country without a US style lobby system people get suspicious and start looking to see if there is illegal bribery going on.

          Come to my country. You can stay forever if you give enough money to the correct political party. Bribery really sucks, no matter what you call it.

        • This isn't really bad politics (at least as they are today). This actually great politics. Just happens to be bad for the country (and its people).

          Unfortunatly, good politics and what is good for the people seldom intersect and politicians of course will go with good politics almost everytime.
        • Re:Actually... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by symbolic (11752)
          That is bad politics.

          No, it's GREAT politics. It's very POOR leadership. Politics is about selling your soul to the highest bidder. Leadership is about doing the right thing, even though your "friends" with the deep pockets might not like it. We many great politicians in this country, but very few leaders.
      • Re:Good step? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LegendOfLink (574790) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:44PM (#12041043) Homepage
        True, but that one group of people used their money and influence to persuade legislators to make a law to benefit them.

        Last time I checked, I thought the government was supposed to preserve fundamental Constitutional rights, not pass a new law when some lawmaker has to take care of those who donated to their campaigns.

        Simply put, people will try to do things to put themselves at the top, but it's the governments fault for allowing itself to be manipulated.

        I think Thomas Jefferson would be crying right now ;)
        • Re:Good step? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by BobSutan (467781) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:11PM (#12041314)
          I think Thomas Jefferson would be crying right now ;)
          You jest, but in reality he'd probably be in prison, or worse Gitmo, held as an enemy of the State for trying to usurp the federal government.
      • Re:Good step? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:57PM (#12041171)
        It's not The Big Bad Government trying to nose its way into our lives, it's one group of people (content providers/owners) trying to make sure that what they perceive as their best interests are protected through the law.
        Huh? I doubt you could name any policy of any government, ever, that wasn't about "somebody" who wanted "something." That in itself isn't a justification.

        If you assume somebody is being evil just for the sake of being evil, it's more likely their motive is selfish and you just don't know yet what they're trying to get. That doesn't mean they're not evil.

        • Re:Good step? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wankledot (712148)
          I never said it (the law, or the way it was enacted) was right, but screaming about "the government" takes the focus away from the people that are actually pushing for the laws.
      • by Sentry21 (8183) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:12PM (#12041326) Journal
        The DMCA was not designed to put the government's nose into every aspect of your life. I was designed by content providers/creators...

        First the DMCA takes away our rights, and now it's posting on slashdot! Will the tyranny ever end?!
    • by Hachey (809077) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:40PM (#12040982)
      Because they are the government. Asking the government not to be nosey is like asking a dog not to pee on the rug. Even after so many times saying 'no', when your back is turned **look!** they've gone and done it again! Bad dog!

      Repeat. Ad nausem.


      -----
      Check out the Uncyclopedia.org [uncyclopedia.org] [uncyclopedia.org] , the only wiki source for not-semi-kinda-untruth about things like Kitten Huffing [uncyclopedia.org] [uncyclopedia.org] and Pong! the Movie [uncyclopedia.org] [uncyclopedia.org]!
    • Re:Good step? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brandybuck (704397) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @10:16PM (#12042238) Homepage Journal
      It's not just the US government, it's EVERY government. Some government are more intrusive into the social aspects of our lives, others into the economic aspects of our lives, but I have yet to encounter any government that was content to simply mind its own business.

      Apropos the article, while the DMCA is pretty intrusive all by itself, EVERY industrialized nation has copyright laws that intrude heavily into the informational aspects of our lives. No exceptions. I don't care if it's an inch or a foot, I don't want that camel's nose in my tent at all!

      This news should be cause to praise Canada, and not to bash the US. Canada might now have a tiny shiny spot on its pot, but that pot is still pretty damned black to be pointing out kettles with.
  • by FiReaNGeL (312636) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [l3gnaerif]> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:25PM (#12040832) Homepage
    1-0 for me being Canadian.

    Emigrate. It`s not too late!
  • Freedom! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Janitha (817744) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:25PM (#12040836) Homepage
    Good to see the Canada being more realistic and more free about stuff like this.
  • by Khakionion (544166) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:25PM (#12040842)
    Sorry, I had a little something in my throat.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hopefully that'll redeem Canada from all the recent bad press it got on Slashdot!
  • w00t! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deadhammer (576762) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:29PM (#12040876)
    Go us! Now the question on everybody's mind up here is: with our refusal to put our official support behind the missile defense program and now this, how long before the border closes up completely?
    • by Jetson (176002) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @09:18PM (#12041840) Homepage
      Go us! Now the question on everybody's mind up here is: with our refusal to put our official support behind the missile defense program and now this, how long before the border closes up completely?

      The border is already effectively closed as far as I'm concerned. The USA has REPEATEDLY lost their battles over softwood tariffs and beef import restrictions and yet the politicians down there are still blocking imports by simply throwing up new laws/rules that they *know* will eventually be struck down again. NAFTA is a complete failure from the Canadian perspective as the "free flow of goods and services" is apparently only a one-way deal.

      There is a growing sentiment up here that we should no longer offer the USA preferential access to our natural resources. If you don't want our lumber or our beef, why should we be paying high electric rates to subsidise California? Why should we be shipping our fresh water south by the truckload?

      I (and many other Canadians) have stopped going to the USA on vacation. I now give my tourist dollars to countries in Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

      • Why should we be shipping our fresh water south by the truckload?

        Because, thank the proverbian god, the Conservatives got kicked out before they sold Canada's water by river/channel-full. Look at the James Bay crap. Then earlier in the 60s there was the NAWAPA proposal.

        Even now, G.W.B. wants to buy Canada's water in bullk. http://greatlakesdirectory.org/zarticles/101702_g r eat_lakes3.htm [greatlakesdirectory.org].

        In NAFTA, it states that bulk water is not covered. BUT if Canada starts selling bulk water, we cannot stop (under

        • by Heretik (93983)

          Let's hope that the current brand of Convatives (political party of canada) do not ever get a majority.

          I used to think the conservatives would probably screw everything up pretty bad. Then I moved to Australia for a year.

          Now I know the conservatives will screw everything up really bad. The conservative equivalent party here has completely destroyed the country.

          Everything that has been privatised got far worse because of it, you have to pay for everything, but.. they still get taxed to hell. The priv

  • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:30PM (#12040883)
    Canada says no to DMC, eh?

    Is hip-hop not popular over there or something?
  • NAFTA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ikegami (793066) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:30PM (#12040886)
    Does NAFTA allow us to say no?
  • Lesson from Europe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sanity (1431) * on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:32PM (#12040894) Homepage Journal
    After following the EU software patent debate very closely all I can say is that getting politicians to verbally agree with you is only the first step. When powerful interests are involved, a politicians vote can often differ quite substantially from their stated intentions...

    Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom (and its a PITA).

  • Some of the text (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:33PM (#12040898)
    Here's the bulk of the article text, before the poor guy gets taken down by the hordes. (Typical Internet copyright violation, eh?)

    Government of Canada Unveils Plans for Copyright Reform

    Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage, the two departments responsible for copyright policy in Canada, this morning released a joint statement on plans for copyright reform. There is an additional FAQ that fleshes out the issues. A bill is expected this spring and the statement spells out where Canada is headed. The key points include:

    1. The government will implement the WIPO Internet treaties. Note that the government now speaks of implementing, rather than formally ratifying, the treaties. They indicate that they will consider ratification after this bill is passed.

    2. The package will include an anti-circumvention provision applied to copyright material. There is no mention of extending the provision to devices (as is the case in the U.S.) and the specific reference to applying the provision to copyright material suggests that the provision will limit its applicability to circumvention to commit copyright infringement. The rights management information is similarly limited to instances to "further or conceal copyright infringement." While no anti-circumvention provision would be better, this suggests that the Canadian provision will feature some real balance.

    Moreover, the FAQ makes clear that "the circumvention of a TPM applied to copyright material will only be illegal if it is carried out with the objective of infringing copyright. Legitimate access, as authorized by the Copyright Act, will not be altered." This is very different from anti-circumvention provisions found in the U.S. However, the FAQ also notes that circumvention for the purposes of private copying will not be permitted, meaning people may find themselves paying for a CD and paying a levy on blank CD yet unable to make the copy of the underlying CD.

    3. The recording industry gets some of their package - a making available right and a full reproduction right for performers.

    4. A "notice and notice" system for ISPs rather than notice and takedown. Canadian ISPs will only be required to notify their subscriber of an infringement claim, not take the content down as is found in the U.S. The ISP will be required to retain subscriber information, however to ensure that it is available should litigation later arise.

    This is a major development as it implements a much fairer system than that found in the U.S. (or even the more draconian notice and termination system that CRIA raised last spring). The FAQ argues that this system is better suited to a P2P world, since notice and takedown simply doesn't work for P2P.

    5. The photographers' copyright issue will also be addressed. It is not entirely clear how the reform will address the commissioning of photographs issue - an exception for private or domestic commissions is contemplated, but this one that really requires the legislative language. No word either on what will happen with the stalled Senate bill on this issue.

    6. As previously reported, the extended license for Internet materials has been shelved for now with a consultation on the issue planned for this year.

    7. The Act will include new provisions to facilitate electronic delivery of materials within schools and libraries. This is viewed as addressing the user side of the equation. It's a start but obviously user rights don't command the same attention as the rights holder groups.

    8. Other major issues for immediate consultation include private copying and broadcasters rights.

    The devil will be in the details but this represents a major shift away from the embarrassingly one-sided Canadian Heritage Standing Committee recommendations issued last May. While that report clearly pushed the agenda forward, the government's response has certainly recognized the need for some balance. Lots more on these issues to come...

    • by NorthDude (560769) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:55PM (#12041152)
      However, the FAQ also notes that circumvention for the purposes of private copying will not be permitted, meaning people may find themselves paying for a CD and paying a levy on blank CD yet unable to make the copy of the underlying CD.

      This is kind of sad. Ok, it may not be a DMCA-like reform we are heading toward, but it still eats away a chunck of my fair-use rights. I mean, now I won't have the right to circumvent DRM-protected files so I can play them on linux? In the future, if they begin to sell DRM-crippled CD's and CD player, I won't have the right to circumvent it's DRM scheme so I can put the music on my iPod (as an example only)? The rest seems to have reach a good balance, but this one I do not like how it sounds.

      So ok, things like DeCSS won't be illegal in itself, but using it to rip my DVDs to my harddrive will so I should rejoice why exactly? Because it is not has bad as in the US? It's not as bad so it is ok? Way to go...

      Sorry for the rant, this just frustrates me a lot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:33PM (#12040904)
    with the best governments always have the lousiest weather??
  • Broad Language... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yuriismaster (776296) <tubaswimmerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:33PM (#12040905) Homepage
    In this context, ISP refers to any entity, commercial or otherwise, that provides digital network services to subscribers or clients.


    I think we'll see many mp3z.ca type sites popping up. When canada opens up decent-sized hosting, someone's going to abuse it from afar (outside of Canada's jurisdiction). A Japanese pirater will use Canada's hosting (which will probably grow due to the lax liability laws) to serve to American consumers. The pirate network will never die, it seems...
  • Canada ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:34PM (#12040920)
    ... The *new* Land of the Free. :-)
  • Mod chips (Score:4, Informative)

    by PxM (855264) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:35PM (#12040923)
    "the circumvention of a TPM applied to copyright material will only be illegal if it is carried out with the objective of infringing copyright. Legitimate access, as authorized by the Copyright Act, will not be altered."

    That sounds like it will allow the creation and sale of mod chips as long as they are used legally. Though, it doesn't allow private copying which means that cracking iTunes for personal use is still not legal.

    --
    Want a free iPod? [freeipods.com]
    Or try a free Nintendo DS, GC, PS2, Xbox. [freegamingsystems.com] (you only need 4 referrals)
    Wired article as proof [wired.com]
    • Re:Mod chips (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ahnteis (746045)
      Howso? From what you posted, cracking iTunes would only be illegal if you distributed the files after cracking them.

      If you cracked them for your own use, how are you infringing COPYRIGHT?
  • by Safety Cap (253500) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:43PM (#12041022) Homepage Journal

    First "USA - North" say they won't participate [elitestv.com] in our beloved Star Wars, and now they refuse to embrace our holy copyright law?!

    I hope they know what the price of defiance is, and I think I speak for the rest of Jebusland when I say, "Let's roll!"

    I expect your people will greet us with Flowers and Candies, too.

    • by Infinityis (807294) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:57PM (#12041172) Homepage
      A reading of the Holy Act of Digital Millenium Copyrights

      Then did he raise on high the Holy Act of Digital Millenium Copyrights, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst oppress thine constituents to tiny mindless peoples, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the .mp3s and .wavs and .wmvs and iTunes... Now did the Lord say, "First thou download the Holy DMCA encrypted media. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then playest thou the Holy DMCA protected media in the direction of thine purchaser, who, being mindless in my sight, shall enjoy it."

  • wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jailbrekr (73837) <jailbrekr@digitaladdiction.net> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:46PM (#12041057) Homepage
    However, the FAQ also notes that circumvention for the purposes of private copying will not be permitted, meaning people may find themselves paying for a CD and paying a levy on blank CD yet unable to make the copy of the underlying CD.

    If I buy a CD, I have every right to make a backup copy of that. Its called fair use. If I have to circumvent security to exercise my rights as a citizen and consumer, then I am circumventing a system which is trying to PREVENT me from exercising my rights. So what takes precendence? Fair use or DRM, which will take a higher precedence in a Canadian Court of law?

  • No to DMCA? WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mikers (137971) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @07:59PM (#12041191)
    Can record companies (Canadian equiv. of [MPRI]{2}AA) sue p2p users sharing music and movies?

    Currently no. Once this act is passed, yes they can. The ISP is obligated to maintain sufficent records to identify the subscriber for a period of time.

    Relevent documentation from Proposed changes [pch.gc.ca]:
    Upon receipt of a notice, ISPs would also be required to keep a record of relevant information for a specified time. Rights holders would have the legal means to compel ISPs to comply with the regime.

    AND
    (FAQ [pch.gc.ca])
    This will clarify that the unauthorized posting or the peer-to-peer file-sharing of material on the Internet will constitute an infringement of copyright.

    Can users copy records/movies for private use?

    Currently yes. After this act is passed, yes BUT users are not allowed to legally bypass any restrictions (DRM) in order to do so. That becomes illegal.

    Relevent documentation from Proposed changes [pch.gc.ca]:
    The Act's private copying regime provides for an exception to copyright that permits the making of a copy of a sound recording for private use

    BUT... not everything is good: (from FAQ [pch.gc.ca])
    The bill will also contain legal protections for technological protection measures (encryptions, password requirements) and rights management systems containing information for the purpose of tracking uses of works. The removal of or tampering with such measures for the purpose of infringing copyright will itself constitute an infringement of copyright.

    What this looks like is basically opening the door to lawsuits for record companies, making file sharing illegal and closing the door on consumers being able to turn off DRM to make a copy of a CD or movie for themselves.

    How is this not DMCA?

    Je n'ai comprend pas.

    • Je n'ai comprend pas.

      Je ne comprends pas, indeed.

  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:00PM (#12041194) Homepage Journal
    Now I guess I need to start taking back all of those bad things I said about Canada.

    LK
  • by Rumor (99829) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:09PM (#12041288)
    Despite the cheery headline, there are still some lamentable changes being proposed. Chiefly, protection for TPMs (Technological Protections Measures, or DRM) in the same vein as the DMCA are being sought, because, you know, they worked so well in chilling innovation and fostering anti-competitive practices in the USA. Reverse-engineering and circumvention of protection measures will be illegal, unless not for the purpose of facilitating infringement, but that's the kind of purpose that can only be determined after a lengthy trial...

    And the "notice and takedown" provison is being avoided, but a "notice and notice" provision is being sought, which is slightly less problematic (it does not require immediate removal of the allegedly infringing material) but there are still provisions being sought that require an ISP to facilitate the process of finding and suing potential infringers.

    The gov't clearly wants to restrict the definition of "publicly available" material on the internet, and expand the licensing agreement between educational institutions and content providers (read: more money flows from students to copyright holders). If you are a private individual and not a student, there is to date no mention of how you might legally copy information available on the internet.

    And finally, there is no indication yet on the direction the gov't wants to go with our oft-cherised "private copying" right, which currently may or may not apply to downloading music onto your computer. (No, it is not clearly legal in Canada, despite what newspapers and other slashdot posters say. It's just very hard to identify and sue infringers.)

    So, there is all that to consider.
  • ISPs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zork the Almighty (599344) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:25PM (#12041429) Journal
    A"notice and notice" regime in relation to the hosting and file sharing activities of an ISP's subscribers would be provided for. That is, when an ISP receives notice from a rights holder that one of its subscribers is allegedly hosting or sharing infringing material, the ISP would be required to forward the notice to the subscriber. Blocking access to such material would be required only when ordered by a court. Upon receipt of a notice, ISPs would also be required to keep a record of relevant information for a specified time. Rights holders would have the legal means to compel ISPs to comply with the regime. The Government would have the power to prescribe the form that must be used in giving notices and to set fees that may be required to be paid by rights holders to ISPs for processing such notices.

    I think this is about as fair a system as you can get. ISPs are protected as carriers of information. Rightsholders are able to proceed with civil actions, but the removal of information requires the finding of a court. And everyone is protected (to some extent) from overzealous rightsholders by the possibility of a "processing fee" to compensate ISPs for their trouble.
  • by NaruVonWilkins (844204) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:29PM (#12041468)
    If it can be argued that the person you got the DVD movie you've downloaded from was in Canada, there's nobody to sue in the chain of DMCA violations, only in the copying of copyrighted content violations. The Canadian user could DeCSS the content for you.

    What I'm curious about now is whether this will lead to an identifier (maybe another DVD region?), for Canada, in the next format, but such that ripped content could be identified.
  • by sytxr (704471) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:32PM (#12041497)
    as good as this for Canada, I'd do better lobbying my own countries' politicans for reasonable copyright and against new DMCA like "copyright police state" laws which the enterntainment is lobbying for, than posting on and reading /. where most people share a more reasonable stance on the subject anyway (even if the entertainment industrie's "We're the good guys and they're the bad guys" - Propaganda did take its toll among the /. population) .

    They're not. Not the big labels at least. http://www.ram.org/ramblings/philosophy/fmp/albini .html ; they're mostly bureaucrat-, lobbyist-, marketing- and lawyer-leeches that try to port and impose an inefficient and obsolete distribution system to the information age and restrict new technology and misemploy them to gain even more control, regardless of the damage to society it would cause. Think what could happen a tcpa/palladium (tcg/ngscb) like control technology gets mandated into every computer to enforce copyrights and DRM and then a not-perfectly-good government decides to increasingly use it for suveillance, censorship and control purposes.
  • Oh Canada! (Score:3, Funny)

    by hotspotbloc (767418) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @08:47PM (#12041614) Homepage Journal
    Old joke: "If North America was in prison the US would our bitch since we're bigger and on top!"

    Nice to see that Canada once again has decided not be the US' bitch.

  • by werdna (39029) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @11:17PM (#12042622) Journal
    It even avoided the U.S. "notice and takedown system" that has caused a big headache for U.S. ISPs. A good summary is available from Canadian law professor Michael Geist.

    ISP's did not consider the notice and takedown system a headache -- they negotiated for the provisions as a condition of their patronage of the bill!

    The reason is simple: ISPs NEVER have to be liable for infringement of its users. A service provider is not responsible for certain user infringements unless and until it receives notice. Then, it is absolutely free of liability (including liability to the user for wrongful takedown) if it takes down the noticed content.

    I'm not saying its a good thing, mind you. I'm saying that ISPs bargained for and like these provisions.

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