ARCHIVED — A Rhonda Hyslop 6
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
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Reply comment from Rhonda received on October 21, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Reply comment
In the comment from Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) dated September 10, 2001, they write:
"Amend the Copyright Act to permit an educational institution or a person acting under its authority, including a student, to do the following acts in relation to all or part of a work or other subject-matter that has been made publicly available on a communication network, provided the act is done in a place where a student is participating in a programme of learning under the authority of an educational institution, is done for educational or training purposes, and is not for profit, and provided that the source is mentioned, and, if given in the source, the name of the author, performer, maker or broadcaster:
(a) use a computer for reproduction, including making multiple reproductions for use in the course for instruction;
(b) perform in public before an audience consisting primarily of students of the educational institution, instructors acting under the authority of the educational institution, or any person who is directly responsible for setting curriculum for the educational institution; and,
(c) communicate to the public by telecommunication to or from a place where a person is participating in a programme of learning under the authority of an educational institution."
I believe the Association is not realising one very important point: the software "protecting" the copyrighted material in question does not know that it is in a library, it does not know that it is being used by students, teachers, or researchers. Is there to be a special 'library key' to unlock the material for copying? For students to be able to use that key it must be accessible to them, and if it is accessible to them it is accessible to them to unlock any material, whether it is for study purposes or not.
In this situation, the library users are trusted to use the 'library key' only for educational purposes or according to existing copyright law; and if they are trusted to do so, then why is the lock (or the new laws) necessary at all?-----
"Amend section 30.1 of the Copyright Act to permit the making of a copy in an alternative format when the format of the original is at risk of becoming obsolete or the technology required to use the original is at risk of becoming unavailable."
The Association should realise, being composed of libraries, just how much material there is out there. Copying data to newer media is already a problem due to the sheer amount of data, and this is for tapes that are 30 years old. How much work would it take to make a single copy of every single CSS-encrypted DVD in the new format, whatever it may be, and make it available to the public again? And would it even be done?
The following is excerpted from a posting to sci.space.history (message ID 37F130EE.1A3D27AB@trailing-edge.com, available through google groups at http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=37F130EE.1A3D27AB%40trailing-edge.com) by a data-recovery specialist, and I feel it is very relevant to the Associations proposal of making a copy in an alternative format when the original is obsolete:
>Folks generally don't get ahead in their careers by simply
>reproducing what others did three decades ago, and you won't
>get funding from management (or the government or your
>academic advisor) for doing so unless you've got a very
>specific and well-articulated goal in mind.
Is the Association going to make those alternative-format copies? Nobody else is going to.-----
"Term of Protection
The Association believes that in the matter of copyright term, the life of the author plus fifty years is sufficient to reward creativity. No reasons—other than reference to the actions of other jurisdictions — for extending this term are suggested in the Framework document."
I believe that in the matter of copyright term, once the author is dead how is he rewarded by having his work still under copyright? The traditional purpose of copyright was to provide a *limited* monopoly on distribution rights to encourage authors to create more. From the point of view of the author, copyright for life, never mind life plus 50 years, is unlimited. What encouragement can such unlimited monopoly provide to an author or artist who has created a highly popular work?-----
"Since September, 2000, the Association has re-examined the matter of how best to provide effective legal remedies against circumventing technological protection measures based on the laws in other countries. The Association has also reviewed the enforcement experiences in other countries. Based on this review, the Association recommends that circumvention of technological protection measures should be permitted for specifically defined purposes. This provides balance because it permits circumvention where it is in the public interest and prevents it where it is not. This solution also provides greater flexibility."
If circumvention of 'protection measures' is *possible* in some circumstances, it is possible in all circumstances. If the public is to be trusted with circumvention for appropriate purposes, they are trusted to perform such circumvention only when appropriate. If the public is trusted to only use the keys appropriately, why have the locks?
These 'protection measures' are a technological solution to a perceived social problem. If people can be trusted to only use keys they are given to unlock locks when appropriate, they can be trusted to only copy an unprotected piece when appropriate. Those locks don't stop people who would break the law anyways; it is the nature of a digital file that a bit-for-bit copy can be made and is indistinguishable from the original. The people who would break the law anyways don't care if there are locks on the material; they make a bit-for-bit copy. A reader cannot tell if it is an original or an illegal copy. All the locks do is inconvenience legitimate users from making legal use of their copies.-----
they continue (in an appendix):
"But the Commonwealth tradition has always considered Crown copyright as being an important prerogative, and favours the retention of Crown copyright. In 1997, through an Order-in-Council, the federal government made an exception to the Crown copyright principle by allowing federal laws and federal court and tribunal decisions to be reproduced without requesting permission."
I favour retention of Crown copyright, and have a suggestion based on the exception made in 1997, mentioned above. I have seen this particular copyright statement many times on the internet, and it is generally respected. I also believe it would be appropriate and beneficial to both the government and the citizens of Canada.
"This document is copyright to (name). Permission to reproduce is granted, provided the document is not altered in any way and this copyright statement is included intact."
People are funny. Almost every time I have seen this statement, the document is not copied unless necessary, i.e. to print out and hand to someone. The document is usually linked to, instead of copied, on the internet, and if it is copied, the copyright statement is included.
Thank you for the opportunity to reply-Rhonda (e-mail address removed) --
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