Why Can’t I Legally Pick ‘Digital Locks’ to exercise my Fair Dealing Rights?

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This wasn’t quite the way the question was stated, but in effect this was what was being asked by a student who wanted to know why it wasn’t ok to access (i.e. hack into) encrypted digital content when her purpose was to make a copy for legally-permitted private use and study. After all, the logic goes, the Copyright Act (in Canada) permits certain fair dealing uses, such as private study, research, criticism, review, education, parody, satire, or news reporting, whereby limited copying is legal even if the work is protected by copyright. If the intended user can’t access the material because it is protected by a TPM (technological protection measure), commonly referred to as a “digital lock”, how can she/he exercise these fair dealing rights? Continue reading “Why Can’t I Legally Pick ‘Digital Locks’ to exercise my Fair Dealing Rights?”

FairPlay Canada Answers its Critics and Restates its Case

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Last week the FairPlay Canada Coalition, now up to 30 members and covering the full range of the content industry value chain, filed its response to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) pursuant to its earlier application in January “to disable online access to piracy sites” (commonly referred to as “site blocking”). For more information on the application, the Coalition and its objectives, see my earlier blog “Hang Together or Hang Separately” here. The “Reply” is a long document (60 plus pages) with six Appendices, but it is a thorough, reasoned, and well-documented rebuttal of the criticisms made by opponents, many of which were generated by misleading online campaigns mounted by anti-copyright advocacy groups like Open Media. Continue reading “FairPlay Canada Answers its Critics and Restates its Case”

The NAFTA Negotiations — and Canada’s “Priority Watch List” Designation: It’s All About The Leverage

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If you are a trade negotiator, a key objective is to get maximum leverage (aka negotiating “coinage”) in order to extract concessions from the other side or as a trade-off against concessions that you don’t want to make. The NAFTA negotiations are no different, even though at one moment they seem to be close to completion, and the next to be going backwards as new demands are piled on, or seemingly settled issues resurface. Continue reading “The NAFTA Negotiations — and Canada’s “Priority Watch List” Designation: It’s All About The Leverage”

Is the Era of “Permissionless Innovation” and Avoidance of Regulation on the Internet Finally Over? It’s High Time.

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It would be the ultimate under-statement to say that recent events concerning the appalling breaches of privacy permitted and indeed orchestrated by Facebook have raised public awareness to new heights over what happens when internet intermediaries are allowed to do just about whatever they want. Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s apologies about “mistakes” and pledges do better in future, the genie is out of the bottle. Even Zuckerberg had to admit that there is a place for regulation. Continue reading “Is the Era of “Permissionless Innovation” and Avoidance of Regulation on the Internet Finally Over? It’s High Time.”