Canadian Bill C-61 concerning protections from copyright infringement and harsh penalities for infringing on Digital Rights Management is brought to you by US lobbyists and Conservative Sith Lord, Jim Prentice.
To put it bluntly: the law, as it stands right now (while grey) seems to support the idea that downloading copyrighted material without paying the rights holder, or their agent, is actually not illegal as too many instances of this could fall under Canada’s version of fair use. Where the illegality starts to wander in, is when you share that content, either hand to hand or p2p. The new legislation, in addition to reworking “sharing” has some draconian concepts surrounding copying your own “paid for” media, which had previously been considered “owned” (at least in a limited way) by the person who bought it.
I can, before C61 passes, back up a copy of a DVD I purchase to my hard drive and convert it to watch on my iPod nano for a flight to Vegas. Under the new legislation if you rip from a DVD (that you bought) you’re a criminal. If you rip a CD that has any protection scheme on it whatsoever, (even though you own the CD) you’re a criminal. And the fines go into the hundreds and thousands of dollars.
One of the things Mike and I will talk about this week in our “49th Perpendicular” segment is the scary aspects of this bill and how it could impact even the casual consumer of digital media.
If you’d like to prime yourself for the conversation, I’d refer you to www.michaelgeist.ca or check out the series of “C61 in 61 Seconds” short videos that are being submitted to www.c61in61seconds.ca.