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Tech Companies Say Don't Blame Canada For Copyright Problems 104

Posted by timothy
from the except-for-those-rowdy-ottowans dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which includes a who's-who of the tech world, including Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, Fujitsu, AMD, eBay, Intuit, Oracle, and Yahoo, has issued a strong defense of current Canadian copyright law, arguing that the US is wrong to place Canada on the annual Special 301 list. The submission argues that the US should not criticize Canada for not implementing anti-circumvention rules (PDF) and warns against using the Special 301 process to 'remake the world in the image of the DMCA.'"
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Tech Companies Say Don't Blame Canada For Copyright Problems

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  • Proudly Canadian (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KazW (1136177) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:16AM (#31209582)
    I love the fact that I can download copy written content without penalty as long as I don't redistribute it... Fuckin' eh!!
    • Re:Proudly Canadian (Score:5, Informative)

      by gapagos (1264716) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:26AM (#31209620)

      Actually you CAN get a warning, and eventually a disconnection from major ISPs such as Rogers, Bell & Vidéotron. But in practice they never do it. They're much more happy to charge you for bandwidth excess usage and continue see you exceed it. :-P

      • Re:Proudly Canadian (Score:5, Informative)

        by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:48AM (#31209724)
        As far as I've seen, those warnings are given to people downloading using P2P, which also counts as distribution.
        • by KazW (1136177)
          Only if you share, in BT's case, seed, and bittorrent is the only true P2P I use. I use the usenet(encrypted on port 443) for 98% of my downloads(no upload required), and I don't really seed any media torrents, but if I did seed, I have forced outgoing encryption and I seed opensource projects from my PC, so it'd be fairly indistinguishable. Even with Shaw's deep packet inspection, I can still get 2-3 megs/sec when downloading, although I do have to slow my up bandwidth to 5-15 KB/sec for a decent down rate
      • Re:Proudly Canadian (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KazW (1136177) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:57AM (#31209746)
        I only get 100 gigs a month from Shaw, I usually do at least double that, but all my connections are encrypted, be it BT or usenet. So far, no warnings after a few years of doing so, but they have mentioned that my area has very low usage compared to my personal usage when I've called to get my modem reset.

        To get back on topic, the chances are very remote, and that's the way I like it. Personally, I feel Canadian copyright law is far ahead of the US's DMCA centric attitude. The nature of copyright has to evolve with current times and technologies, allowing P2P downloads for personal use while putting a fee on MP3 players and blank media is a compromise that I see as fair.
        • by twidarkling (1537077) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @10:31AM (#31209902)

          Yep. Personally, I'm a big fan of the fact that we can format-shift, and make copies of friends' music, and stuff like that. I recognize the necessity to respect copyright, but the US has gone completely overboard, and few industries have any idea of the proper way to deal with it.

          (In case any industry movers/shakers are reading this, the proper way isn't DRM, it's increasing ease and accessibility of your work.)

          • Exactly. If I have 500GB of blank media then I paid 500GB worth of levy purchasing it and I will happily fill it up with 500GB of data. Copyright holders can go see whoever collects the levy for their cut. I'm sure as hell not paying twice.

            The levy is currently 24cents for audio cassettes and 29cents for CDs. [cpcc.ca]

            Kinda expensive if you DONT download/copy media. Gotta get my moneys worth!
            • by Al Dimond (792444)

              Yeah, really. I'm pretty sure 29c/CD is more than I paid total for the last spindle of CDs I bought here in the US.

              A media levy would suck for me. I don't P2P and I burn my own music onto those discs.

              Ultimately a media levy taxes the wrong thing. People consuming pirated material in large volumes don't use limited-write media like CD-Rs. They use MP3 players with hard drives they can write very many times. I'm sure there's a levy on those as well, but I bet those users pay proportionally far less.

              So I guess

              • by TheLink (130905)

                See also this:

                http://www.thestar.com/business/article/735096--geist-record-industry-faces-liability-over-infringement [thestar.com]

                Basically Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada are being sued for not paying the artists.

                And quote:
                After years of claiming Canadian consumers disrespect copyright, the irony of having the recording industry face a massive lawsuit will not be lost on anyone, least of all the artists still waiting to be paid. Indeed, they are also seeking puni

              • by dryeo (100693)

                Actually the Canadian system was put in place to make it legal to format shift. As in make a copy for your car stereo. The courts have ruled that this includes all music sharing.
                Perhaps you are in favour of people being sued for making a copy for their car or MP3 player but I'm happy I can buy a CD, rip it and copy it to my wife's MP3 player all legally.

          • Personally, I'm a big fan of the fact that we can format-shift, and make copies of friends' music, and stuff like that.

            Don't you pay for that privilege, though, via some sort of tax/levy system? It's not as if this is a something-for-nothing deal where Big Media is getting ripped off.

            • by dryeo (100693)

              Yes and no. Some blank media like CDr has the levy but they never got around to implementing it for blank DVDs, MP3 players etc.
              Now a days blank DVDs are cheaper then blank CDs and since everyone has a DVD player/burner...

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Xiozhiq (724986)

          Leaving ethical implications of piracy aside, I'm just curious whether you're sure your BT connections are encrypted. Many clients offer encryption for the purpose of circumventing traffic shaping procedures used by some ISPs, but are very adamant that this encryption does NOT provide any assurance in skirting the law. As far as I am aware, no client offers true endpoint-to-endpoint encryption, but even if they did offer it, most clients choose low-strength ciphers like RS4, because using the stronger AES c

          • by KazW (1136177)
            Thanks to our personal privacy acts, we enjoy the fact that our encrypted data is private and only allowed to be decrypted if we're under investigation by law officials. As I've stated in another reply, thanks to the RCMP stating in 2007 that they won't pursue personal P2P downloaders, for just downloading, we're safe.

            The American RIAA can suck my Canadian dick, and I've never really heard of the CRIA going after anyone for downloading, but I maybe wrong about that.
            • by mershin (470621)

              The CRIA went after a canadian based P2P distribution site (isohunt), but AFAIK has not gone after 'end-users'. Personally I don't think going after sites like isohunt does much to deter those that will download illegal copies. When 1 site goes down, 5 more come up, hosted in some foreign country.

              I'd like to think that if movie & music (and other content) publishers adopted an online distribution mechanism for a fair fee, the industry would flourish instead of flounder. Case in point, last I heard iTune

        • Re:Proudly Canadian (Score:5, Informative)

          by realityimpaired (1668397) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @10:39AM (#31209928)

          To get back on topic, the chances are very remote, and that's the way I like it. Personally, I feel Canadian copyright law is far ahead of the US's DMCA centric attitude. The nature of copyright has to evolve with current times and technologies, allowing P2P downloads for personal use while putting a fee on MP3 players and blank media is a compromise that I see as fair

          The reason that things like file sharing are legal in Canada is specifically because Canadian copyright law *hasn't* changed. Our laws were written in the 1980's, when it wasn't really easy to copy a large volume of music, and the risk was mostly just people copying a CD to a cassette for a friend, or making a mix tape for somebody. You weren't dealing with high volume copies, and you weren't dealing with anything near the ubiquity that the Internet affords, which is a large part of why the laws are so relaxed here.

          • by epp_b (944299) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:37AM (#31210214)
            Perhaps it's that Canadian copyright law was wisely crafted with the future in mind.
            • by Again (1351325) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:50AM (#31210286)

              Perhaps it's that Canadian copyright law was wisely crafted with the future in mind.

              I see that you are not familiar with our politicians.

              • by phorm (591458)

                The current ones or the previous ones. Not that the predecessors didn't have their issues, but many did seem to have a set a values that have woefully been forgotten in these days.

            • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Ha!

              No, it means our politicians are as ineffective as other places, perhaps more so. They've tried to reform copyright law 2 times already and failed to pass the bills into law. Thus our copyright law is stuck in the 1980s, which turns out to be better than DMCA-style laws.

              There are times when ineffective government is good government :-)

              It also helps that we've had a string of minority governments, which has kept each party in power from ramming whatever they like through parliament, and makes them more

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by KazW (1136177)

            To get back on topic, the chances are very remote, and that's the way I like it. Personally, I feel Canadian copyright law is far ahead of the US's DMCA centric attitude. The nature of copyright has to evolve with current times and technologies, allowing P2P downloads for personal use while putting a fee on MP3 players and blank media is a compromise that I see as fair

            The reason that things like file sharing are legal in Canada is specifically because Canadian copyright law *hasn't* changed. Our laws were written in the 1980's, when it wasn't really easy to copy a large volume of music, and the risk was mostly just people copying a CD to a cassette for a friend, or making a mix tape for somebody. You weren't dealing with high volume copies, and you weren't dealing with anything near the ubiquity that the Internet affords, which is a large part of why the laws are so relaxed here.

            I meant in 2007, when the RCMP officially stated their stance on P2P file sharing for personal use. Their decision for P2P and the decision to put that fee on MP3 players is a decision for current times. At least, I consider anything within the past 5-10 years fairly recent, in terms of the speed of our legislation.

          • Re:Proudly Canadian (Score:5, Informative)

            by schon (31600) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @12:26PM (#31210530)

            The reason that things like file sharing are legal in Canada is specifically because Canadian copyright law *hasn't* changed.

            Actually, Canadian copyright law has been changing constantly. [pch.gc.ca]

            Our laws were written in the 1980's

            Incorrect. 1988 was the first major overhaul since the law was written in 1924, however there have been a bunch of updates (in 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2007) to bring it to its current state - for example, when the 1988 law was enacted, the private copying right that we now enjoy (and that this thread is about) did not exist - it was illegal to copy any music without written permission, regardless of the reason. It wasn't until the amendment in 1997 that we gained the legal right to make private copies.

          • You're not as familiar with Canadian law as you think you are.

            The private copying regime came into existance in 1997, not the 1980's, and is only one year earlier than the USA's DMCA. It also only applies to audio recordings -- downloading anything else that is under copyright without permission is just as illegal in Canada as it is in the United States.

            It is unfortunate that some of our idiotic politicians (mostly Liberals) mis-informed Canadians about the state of Canadian copyright law in their desire

        • by sedmonds (94908)

          The nature of copyright has to evolve with current times and technologies, allowing P2P downloads for personal use while putting a fee on MP3 players and blank media is a compromise that I see as fair.

          The media levy is great for people who want to justify getting music without paying for it.

          However, people whose works are being distributed have no way of being fairly compensated out of the levy collections. By fairly compensated, I mean that levy proceeds are distributed in a way related to the relativ

        • by Mawen (317927)

          The nature of copyright has to evolve with current times and technologies, allowing P2P downloads for personal use while putting a fee on MP3 players and blank media is a compromise that I see as fair.

          I think it might be nice for us Canadians since the levies are not too high, but still a horrible compromise.
          Conceding that everyone who buys MP3 player or blank media is a sort of criminal by putting a levy on the player is a horrible idea to me. It gives everyone in the country a license to be a legitimate pirate, because they're paying the penalty whether they like it or not. What kind of logic is "don't do this, it's bad, but even if you don't, we're taking your money anyway"? I've heard Indy produc

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Unless the ISP gets a complaint from the copyright holder, they're not going to warn you for it. They do use traffic shaping to deprioritize traffic like BitTorrent, though, so you might notice lower transfer rates during peak hours, but that's about it.

        And you're right, the ISP is much happier to charge you for the overage. In fact, most of those ISPs will actually sell you bandwidth "insurance" packages to allow you to have the overage... Bell, for example, will charge $5/month per 40GB extra you buy, to

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That's true. Friends of mine have received warning notices from Telus for downloading via P2P clients. They've all since moved to Shaw, who doesn't seem to care what people download as long as the bill is paid.

      • by Aklyon (1398879)

        so the company lets you do it as long as you bribe them with paid excessive usage fees?

    • by Like2Byte (542992)

      Proudly Canadian
       
      I love the fact that I can download copy written content without penalty as long as I don't redistribute it... Fuckin' eh!!

      Don't you mean, "Fuckin' eh!! Eh."?

      • by KazW (1136177)
        Nah, we do say it a lot, but only once at a time, not twice in a row. Unless we're yelling to get someone's attention, then it's pretty much all we say.

        You know what I mean, eh?
    • That's far from a certainty. When you download content illegally, your don't pay the blank media levy and the issue remains somewhat gray. I suspect, however, that the next time it comes to court the ruling will not support the downloader, although damages will be limited to $500 per infringement. What is certainly illegal, is uploading copyrighted content in Canada. That means that if you use a P2P network and an investigation gets a hold of some packets of copyrighted material from your IP, you can be sue

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:29AM (#31209628)

    Where are these companies when it comes to US legislation?

    • by multisync (218450)

      Where are these companies when it comes to US legislation?

      In some respects, I think they would like to see the US adopt a more "Canadian" attitude, specifically with regard to Fair Use/Dealing. I suspect the true motive of these companies becomes clear in the last paragraph:

      The submission concludes by noting that Canadian copyright law is more protective of creators in some respects, pointing specifically to the existence of moral rights and the limitations of fair dealing when compared to the U.S. fair use

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by coekie (603995)
      The document is mostly about the Special 301 process, but they've used the opportunity to comment on US law:
      • on DMCA notice and takedown:

        [...] the world in the image of the DMCA, a world in which millions of automated cease-and-desist requests based on computer-generated allegations automatically trigger the blocking and take down of material, including of lawfully posted material, all without any due process or any judicial involvement.

      • About DRM ("rights against circumventing TPMs"):

        [...] the desires of certain rightsholder constituencies which seek to ban activities that are permitted under the copyright laws through the backdoor of a digital technological lock.

        wrong-headed policy; [...] cripple their own industries' innovation and damage the welfare of their own consumers.

      There is nothing new to the average Slashdot reader in there; it's saying the same as many here have already ranted: DMCA is bad, DRM is not about copyright but a backdoor to gain more control over customers, and it is silly and damaging. But considering which companies this text comes from, I'd say this is some quite str

  • The devil has been spotted shopping for ice skates.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:30AM (#31209638)
    Well, you better have a pretty catchy song and dance to go with that message ...
  • You're on the list (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:33AM (#31209656) Homepage

    I vaguely remember at primary school, the use of friends/enemies lists in the ongoing process of classroom politics.

    Apparently some people never grow out of classroom politics, and go on to become actual politicians. "Canada can't come to my birthday party."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:41AM (#31209688)

    But they've left out all of the dumb, anti-consumer portions that increasingly blight US law. How DARE they!

  • by phoxix (161744) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @09:52AM (#31209732)

    I hope the Canadians put us on a "Special Douche Bag" list

    Gotta love our ability to spit on our friends

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I hope the Canadians put us on a "Special Douche Bag" list

      I'm sorry, sir, but I regret to inform you that you have been on that list for quite some time now.

      --random Canadian.

  • wake up (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by omar.sahal (687649)
    First they are demonized, then they are to be invaded.
  • Insanity. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @10:02AM (#31209764)
    My personal opinion, as a Canadian, is that copyright regulation such as in the USA is insane. With that in mind I am proud of my Government for resisting the tide. There is a balance that needs to be drawn somewhere, I do not believe it is where industry in the USA would like it to be. With this in mind, let the USA go all hysterical: as the pendulum swings around with other parties such as my Government providing some balance the theory, and hope, is that it will eventually settle somewhere sane.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My personal opinion, as a Canadian, is that copyright regulation such as in the USA is insane.

      We disagree. They seem perfectly sane to us.

      -Disney.

    • Re:Insanity. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RealGrouchy (943109) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @10:39AM (#31209930)

      With that in mind I am proud of my Government for resisting the tide.

      Don't be too hasty. The Government would have passed draconian copyright legislation a long time ago (they've tried a few times) if it weren't for the fact that it's a minority government.

      - RG>

      • by headkase (533448)
        You are correct, democracy does not always lead where I, as an individual, want it to go but in this particular instance - right now - I just so happen to be glad overall.
      • Don't be too hasty. The Government would have passed draconian copyright legislation a long time ago (they've tried a few times) if it weren't for the fact that it's a minority government.

        Yes, Harper is fully in support of DMCA-type legislation. He tried to pass some anti-circumvention thing a while ago. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad we have Liberals that are doing nothing except blocking this shit. :P

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @12:24PM (#31210516)
    Some of you guys probably know these already, but it's important to get them out there:

    Michael Geist's Blog [michaelgeist.ca] - Dr. Geist is a law professor who takes a rather dim view of the constant calls to make copyright law more strict.

    The Pirate Party of Canada [piratepartyofcanada.com] - a small concern now, only about 100 card-carrying members, but it's not going to get any bigger (or reach the point where it's officially a party) if people don't get involved and at least send a bit of money their way to get over the legal hurdles. ($10 membership fee).

  • It is a little known fact that Canada is still working on a tape dubbing ruling ;)
  • by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] [lynx.bc.ca]> on Saturday February 20, 2010 @02:06PM (#31211226) Journal

    ... the exemption for private use copying in Canada's copyright laws is in sore need of an upgrade. Currently only audio works enjoy such protection. I would further choose to add some additional wording the exemption so that the exemption is (in my opinion) more balanced, and people do not enjoy the benefits of the exemption without adhering to the underlying intent behind it.

    To that end, I would endorse the view that making a private copy of any copyrighted work, including time shifting, format shifting, decryption, or straight out copying, for the personal use of the person who is making the copy should *NOT* be copyright infringement, as long as the copy from which the private use copy is being made is not itself an infringing copy (or in the case where the copy from which it is made resides in a different place than Canada, nor would it be infringing on copyright under Canadian law). This exemption to copyright infringement should apply even if the copyright holder does not endorse such copying. Sharing, lending, selling, or any other way willfully distributing, giving, or providing such a private use copy to anybody else would negate this exemption, and unless they otherwise had permission from either the copyright holder or the agents that represent the copyright holder, such activity should render the person who created the copy now guilty of infringing on copyright.

    The biggest reason I would advocate such a change to the current copyright law is simply owing to an issue of feasibility to enforce. If a person has made a copy of something that is truly for their own private use, there is not even a remotely possible way that anybody else would have even known that such a copy had even been made, and so it makes no sense to have any law in place that even implicitly would seem to disallow such an occurrence. Likewise, I think it makes a lot of sense to explicitly exempt such actions from copyright infringement so that people can have clearly defined boundaries on what is permitted and what is not.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I took a look in the IIPA Special 301 report for Brazil at http://www.iipa.com/rbc/2010/2010SPEC301BRAZIL.pdf, it's very instructive. I particularly appreciated the following part in page 141:

    Priority actions requested to be taken in 2010:
    - ...
    - Avoid legislation on the mandatory use of open source software by government agencies and government controlled companies.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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