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Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation 104

An anonymous reader writes "New Canadian anti-spam and anti-spyware legislation is scheduled for a key vote on Monday. Michael Geist reports that the copyright lobby has been pushing to remove parts of the bill that would take away exceptions which currently allow spyware to be installed without authorization. 'The copyright lobby is deeply concerned that this change will block attempts to track possible infringement through electronic means.' There have also been proposals to extend the exemptions granted to telecom providers to include the installation of programs without the user's express consent, which Geist says will 'leave the door open to private, surreptitious surveillance.'"
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Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation

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  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:25AM (#29775613)

    of course.. Then law enforcement has yet another law that allows them to be narcissistic hypocrites who don't understand why everyone hates and distrusts them.

  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) < minus caffeine> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:25AM (#29775617) Homepage

    Wonder how it'll fair against the privacy act, considering it would fly afoul of the retention of data w/o consent.

  • by QuoteMstr ( 55051 ) <> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:16AM (#29775807)

    I think corruption is only a partial explanation for these terrible laws.

    As we age, through repetition, our worldview becomes burned into our minds like a phosphor afterglow on an old CRT. We then tend to face novel situations by constructing analogies between them and our ingrained repertoire of concepts, which explains the prevalence of car analogies for computing. But like all analogies, these are imperfect, and when aged lawmakers try to legislate based on these analogies, we get bad policy []. Thus, to get truly effective policy, we need people who have an innate understanding of the subject: as the cynical old saying goes, "change comes one funeral at a time."

    By the way: when will people start using computer analogies to explain cars?

  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:54AM (#29776065) Homepage Journal

    It's the continued criminalization of a tiny fraction of the population. Most people don't want to live in a trash heap, so they don't throw trash everywhere. When it comes to things like piracy, it's far more complex. With copyright, one can break the law and realize that its existence is better than its nonexistence. Many justify this (and I'm not arguing for or against here) in large part because the original purpose of copyright was not to stop individuals from copying things for personal use. That narrow interpretation of the law is a relatively recent abuse.

    The purpose of modern copyright (for at least two centuries) has been to protect authors, composers, artists, and musicians, not the publishing industry. More to the point, a large part of its purpose was to protect those people from the industry---so that people who create an original work of authorship can shop it around to a publisher and have recourse if the publisher steals the work, publishes it without permission, and keeps the profits. It was primarily concerned with large-scale commercial copying, not individual copying---to such a degree that the impact on the commercial viability of the work is a consideration for a fair use defense. Indeed, when copyright was created, the notion of personal copying was absurd.

    Indeed, the thought of prosecuting individuals wasn't really even a consideration (at least in the U.S.) before the 1980s and Sony v Universal []. Indeed, we can largely blame this mentality on the dissenting arguments posed by Blackmun et al. Prior to that, small-scale copying was not only mostly ignored, but in the few cases where it came up (e.g. Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States []), they got smacked down by the courts pretty badly. Over the past thirty years or so, however, copyright has taken a rather dramatic right turn towards corporate welfare, with absurd term extensions that essentially eradicate the public domain as we know it, dramatic scaling back of fair use rights, lawsuits against individuals and small-scale copying, and various egregious anticompetitive practices like the absurd "three note rule" [] (The Chiffons v. George Harrison), all of which are intended to further tighten the publishing/recording/movie industry's grasp on the creations of we, the artists, musicians, authors, etc.

    So even though I don't condone copyright infringement, even I as a composer, writer, and computer programmer have a hard time with the way copyright is being abused to go after two bit infringement, enough so that I'd rather see copyright law and enforcement rolled back to about 1970, but not enough so that I'd want to see copyright go away altogether. It still is very useful at preventing corporations from stealing people's creations... up until the point at which they sign the contract, anyway, at which point the content creators are usually screwed.... You know... maybe we should roll it back farther than 1970... or at least seriously revisit the notion of works for hire and seriously tighten up what constitutes a work for hire, seriously limit corporate ownership of copyrights, and in general take back copyright from the leachers... and I don't mean the ones on Bittorrent.

  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SlashWombat ( 1227578 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:54AM (#29776215)
    I would have to agree with this, except that most copyright ends up being owned by the very large corporations you suggest are the current demons. To make copyright fair again, I would suggest that copyright not be transferable from the original authors. Indeed, this should be back dated 100 years to totally undo the shit that these companies have perpetrated on the global population. I would also suggest that the copyright period be reduced to something more reasonable, say 50 years ... If you haven't made money/reputation in that period of time, you never will!
  • by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @05:56AM (#29776419) Journal

    I always thought this to be rather counter-intuitive, but it strikes me time and again when I visit London...

    Compared to San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc. downtown London is squeaky clean. Not just the parks, but random streets, areas near train/underground stations, etc. as well.
    I hardly ever see any cleaning crews, so it can't be that they're busy cleaning all the time to keep things clean.

    Then at one point in my first visit, I -had- a piece of trash.. an empty coke can ..and after 15 minutes of walking around with the darn thing (I hate littering), it struck me: it's damn near impossible to find a trashcan in London.
    You can walk for miles in London and not come across any non-private trashcan. Not on the streets, not in train stations unless you happen to find one in some back corner or sneak into a fastfood place, not anywhere inside parks - you're lucky to find one or two near the entrances.

    Could it be? Could removing trashcans and not having cleaning crews going around all the time have some psychological effect on people that they get the strong impression that their trash is -their trash- and should not only not be littered, but not be conveniently dumped in government-approved receptacles?

    Another option is that on my three visits, I happened to take routes that magically steered me clear of a wealth of trashcans to be found in London.
    I'll have to keep a keen eye out next time I go.

  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:27PM (#29778543) Journal

    It's getting to be a pretty good argument for abandoning Windows. I'm pondering a BSD machine with Firefox and P2P software running in jails, so even if the program itself had some sort of catastrophic security problem that allowed RIAA, the MPAA or whoever else (FBI, CIA, whatever) to throw in some spyware (if any of these guys even know what FreeBSD is), it would be pretty damned useless.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith