Sunday, December 9, 2007

Canadian DMCA

There is proposed legislation for a Canadian version of the DMCA. The problem is that fair use rights are not addressed in this law. For this reason I have mailed my members of parliament.

As the creator of vast quantity of copyrighted works I certainly understand the need for copyright laws. Though I personally feel that the length of copyrights are way too long, that is a separate issue. What is at issue is the omission of fair use rights from the proposed Canadian DMCA. These rights are of tantamount importance and must be present in any DMCA bill that is put forward. If you feel it is necessary to delay addressing these concerns, then the introduction of the Canadian DMCA should be delayed with them.

As both a creator and consumer of digital content, it is my opinion that consumers should be allowed to copy, time-shift and format-shift material as long as it is strictly for personal or educational use. If digital locks prevent such things, consumers should be allowed to use any tools available to bypass those locks. Likewise, parody and the ability to criticize works is of up-most importance to citizens and not even the most vile of police states would try to make such practices illegal. Also, when you consider that the entire Technology Industry was built on top of the practice of reverse engineering it is vital for our economy that this practice is allowed in the future.

If you are under pressure from trading partners to pass a DMCA bill into law, it would be best if you incorporated the broadest possible fair use laws and then have a Copyright Review Panel to consider if the fair use rights are too lenient and restrict those rights in the future if the majority of Canadian Citizens felt that it was necessary.

No comments: