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Digital lock seems illogical

- June 3rd, 2010

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Here are links to the bill itself, and to a government site called “Balanced copyright” that has information about the bill.

I have not yet taken the time to read it in detail or think it through.  Here is Michael Geist’s initial reaction.

There is something I don’t understand though – as the logic escapes me.

The bill will expand fair dealing – in other words - things we can legitimately copy. (e.g. private study, news reporting, parody, time shifting, format shifting.)

At the same time, it embraces the concept of a digital lock, and makes it unlawful to break a digital lock for any reason.  In other words, a content owner can lock down their content so we can’t use it for those fair dealing purposes.

So the government says users should have certain rights – then turns around and lets content owners take those rights away?  Seems like they are abdicating their legislative power to content creators.

Highly illogical.

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1 comment

  1. Jamesey | June 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Well put, David. Copyright holders shouldn’t be granted the right to arbitrarily suspend the fair dealing provisions of individuals.

    Given that DRM was the most contentious issue in last summer’s copyright consultations, it may be possible that the government has included the extreme DRM measures just to take attention away from other parts of the bill. After a predictable backlash, they may modify the DRM provisions to cover illegal activities and then proudly announce, “See? We listened to everyone.”

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