Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Soon Reading This Will Be Illegal

I was just getting my morning dose of awesome and interesting from Boing Boing when I came across Corey Doctrow’s post about Canada’s new proposed DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). The proposal to be tabled by Jim Prentice is essentially one of the worst abuses of consumer rights ever proposed. Not only will it make it illegal to move media from one device to another, it would make it illegal to watch/listen to your movies or music on another device if the company that made the original goes out of business. There is a no exceptions portion to the anti-circumvention clause.

So get ready to become a criminal if you attempt to parody, time-shift, or try any other modern fair usage. It also makes it illegal for you to circumvent any anti-copy aspects in any device you own, such as a Windows Vista PC, game console, or cable box. You would not be permitted to modify these items without consent from the manufacturer, who is most always US based.

So while you can record a show to watch later at the moment, under the new DMCA you would lose that right. In essence the next time an immigrant gets killed with a taser and you catch it on your camera phone you would violate the proposed DMCA when it is transferred or copied. Or, say you’re a teacher who wants to make photocopies of a passage from a book for your students? Sorry, that too would violate this act.

By adding little digital policemen to devices you will lose your current rights as a Canadian to American business and lobbyists. I’m amazed at how Canada’s New Government™ is very much America’s Whipping Boy.

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