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IBM Canada's Position On DMCA 16

iplayfast writes: "In regards to Canadian "DMCA" Public Comments Becoming Available Most comments look pretty level headed, but as you start moving up the corporate ladder they start looking scary. This is IBM Canada's response "IBM urges the Government to amend the Copyright Act to create a civil and criminal offence for tampering with copyright protection technology systems including a product, service, device, component, or technology - either hardware, software or both - and only part thereof. This offence must have an intent component which should arise from evidence of any one of the following three criteria; -the device has been primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing; or -it has only limited commercial purpose or use other than to circumvent; or -it is marketed by the person who manufactures it, imports it, offers it to the public, provides it or otherwise traffics in it with intent for use in circumventing.; If the person above does this indirectly through another party, both should be culpable." Hmm, Big Blue is showing his spots."

This IBM response is quite lengthy, and worth reading. Besides the statement excerpted here, it includes among other things an argument against mandating particular technological means to combat copyright violations, and acknowledgement that copy-capable equipment is widely available and useful in business and personal contexts. Well ... if you're copying floppies, anyway.

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IBM Canada's Position On DMCA

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  • by daoine ( 123140 ) <moruadh1013@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Monday October 01, 2001 @05:49PM (#2375780)
    I found this to be particularly ironic...

    3. If the government were to adopt provisions relating to technological measures, in which respects should such provisions be subject to exceptions or other limitations?

    Copyright Act provisions for exemptions should still be applicable (broadly the "fair dealing" or excusable exploitation exemptions). As mentioned above, the limitations imposed by the term of protection, and any authorized use of such 'technology' should not be caught in the definition of an offence.

    In my view, this is one of the biggest legal problems facing the DMCA, and it looks like IBM is missing the boat. Here they are, stating pretty clearly that a user's fair use is still legitimate, yet the very acts they are trying to push through prevent the end user from exercising fair use at all.

    Has anyone found a corporate stance that actually addresses fair use without glossing over it or saying "well, the user gets to make X copies?"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a former IBM Canada employee, I'm quite disgusted. I was intending on going to work there again sometime as I really enjoyed my work there in software development, but if they're going to start changing their attitudes about things, I think I'll look elsewhere. Hopefully someone will have a talk with them and explain just how stupid this is. Otherwise they might see some of the senior engineering/tech staff start taking earlier retirements.
    • Do you honestly expect managment to listen to their engineers??? Just take a look at the past for tons of examples that prove my point... Management of large corporations don't ever listen to their employees until after the customer backlash... and then they always end up blaming the employees or their customers...
  • by masq ( 316580 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @02:08PM (#2379057) Homepage Journal
    but this kind of thing doesn't make it easier.

    It's fast becoming a very scary world, with insanely huge and wealthy corporations pulling the shots politically as well as economically. Sadly, IBM can use their clout for evil as well as good.

    I don't agree with piracy, especially when there are excellent *free* alternatives available for almost everything we had in Windows, but neither do I agree with the government pushing through legislation like the DMCA, which limits the fair use of the products we, as consumers, buy. If I want to play DVD's on GNU/Linux, who are the movie studios to force me to use Windows instead? They don't have the right. They will NEVER have the right. But because they feel we're an unimportant market, they won't create a solution, and through legislation, they won't even allow private citizens to create solutions for themselves. I know there is LinDVD et al. *NOW*, but if the DVD code hadn't been cracked and widely distributed, what are the chances the industry would have ever willingly supported our chosen platform, or permitted others to support us? Not very bloody likely. The DeCSS FORCED them to allow it, since realistically, it was out there anyway. I'm just waiting for M$ to create and force a "new" standard for HTML, one that can't be read by other browsers, since it's encrypted for use with Internet Explorer XP2 only. To use another browser to decrypt the files made by the Microsoft faithful in FrontPage XP2 will be illegal, as it involves the decryption of "vitally important corporate intellectual property secret MS code".... Don't think it can't happen. The day it's legal is the day Microsoft will do it.

    Sorry to rant, but I don't want to live in a police state, and unfortunately, that's the way we're going - FAST. It's stuff like IBM supporting this unjust and unbalanced law that will allow Orwell's worst nightmare to come to pass. But at least IBM can make a few bucks making the hardware to dominate, control and monitor the human race as our children unhappily slave their lives away under extreme duress.

    • Im sure the DMCA will help fight terrorism, therefore we Canadians welcome any otherwise draconian laws to fight those dirty muslim extremists even if it does take away all our fair use rights. We'll be thankful when they can't use illegally decrypted e-books in the crashing planes into canadian landmarks for dummies series against us.
    • Why? IBM are just another evil megacorp, and would be as abusive as Microsoft are today if they could get away with it. They lost the battle to be the biggest, Bill beat them at their own game. So now they make great laptops - does that make them good guys? No. So now they're supporting Linux - does that make them good guys? No.
    • Thing is, corporations aren't designed to protect the rights of citizens. Corporations exist to make money. That's not something I regret, it's just a reality.

      However, the sole purpose of government is to protect the rights of its citizens, and the fact that congressmen are so desperate for another term, that they'll do anything for the corporations which fund their campaigns, is the real factor to blame here. Congressmen should be free to decide how they choose, like a judge. Most of these people are reasonably intelligent, but are also severly biased.
      • It's a pity that there's no fundamental separation of Corp and State.

        We've corps insisting that the government needs to stay out of their affairs, and then demanding that said government legislate in their favor. And in the U.S. we usually find them succeeding on both fronts.
  • From the site....
    we have therefore decided to extend the period for reply comments for both papers from October 5, 2001 to October 22, 2001. This should allow adequate time for you to provide your reply comments on the submissions.

    When you send in your reply comments, please remember to:

    - indicate that they are reply comments,
    - identify the consultation paper concerned
    - identify the specific submission or submissions, if applicable, to which you are replying.
    Comments may be sent by e-mail (Text, WordPerfect, Microsoft Word or HTML formats) to:

    Comments may also be sent by mail or fax to:

    Comments - Government of Canada Copyright Reform
    c/o Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
    Industry Canada
    235 Queen Street
    5th Floor West
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0H5
    fax: (613) 941-8151

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court