There has been a bit of happy-talk about Bill C-61 in the news, but I think the spin has been mostly negative, however I missed the penalties here and wanted to highlight them for you. A Million dollar fine is somewhere near $9,999,500 away from the penalties that we have been told about in the news, which makes this Bill all the more insidious. It tries to target “actual pirates” but allows for so much more trouble for end users.
What happens if circumvention is trivial, like removing a bit of tape? Are there tests for circumvention, like if the producer of the material puts too little effort into anti-copying mechanisms, can they be treated as null and void? Can already known circumventions be treated as legal as they are widely known? Who decides what circumvention is? What if the product is used in a new way that the producer simply does not like? I remember how horrified some exec staff could get when customers used Symantec products in unexpected ways (read unsupported ways). Could those customers be liable for circumvention?
Further reading is really what this bill needs, hopefully our MPs will look this over and just bow to publci pressure to abandon it; failing that perhaps the Conservatives will find their rail ready for a swift ride out of Ottawa if it is proven that they are cowing to corporate pressure from south of the border.
For more information about this subject; I recommend you keep up with news about Canadian Copyright over at Digital Copyright Canada
(2.1) It is an infringement of copyright for any person to do any of the following acts with respect to anything that the person knows or should have known is a lesson, as defined in subsection 30.01(1), or a fixation of one:
(a) to sell it or to rent it out;
(b) to distribute it to an extent that the owner of the copyright in the work or other subject-matter that is included in the lesson is prejudicially affected;
(c) by way of trade, to distribute it, expose or offer it for sale or rental or exhibit it in public;
(d) to possess it for the purpose of doing anything referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (c);
(e) to communicate it by telecommunication to any person other than a person referred to in paragraph 30.01(3)(a); or
(f) to circumvent or contravene any measure taken in conformity with paragraph 30.01(5)(b), (c) or (d).
–Section 2.1 Bill c-61 (as of 12:56PM edt June 16, 2008)
41.1 (1) No person shall
(a) circumvent a technological measure within the meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition â€œtechnological measureâ€ in section 41;
(b) offer services to the public or provide services if
(i) the services are offered or provided primarily for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure,
(ii) the uses or purposes of those services are not commercially significant other than when they are offered or provided for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure, or
(iii) the person markets those services as being for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure or acts in concert with another person in order to market those services as being for those purposes; or
(c) manufacture, import, provide â€” including by selling or renting â€” offer for sale or rental or distribute any technology, device or component if
(i) the technology, device or component is designed or produced primarily for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure,
(ii) the uses or purposes of the technology, device or component are not commercially significant other than when it is used for the purposes of circumventing a techno- logical measure, or
(iii) the person markets the technology, device or component as being for the purposes of circumventing a technological measure or acts in concert with another person in order to market the technology, device or component as being for those purposes.
–Section 41.1 of Bil C-61 (as of June 16th, 2008)
(3.1) Every person, except a person who is acting on behalf of a library, archive or museum or an educational institution, is guilty of an offence who knowingly and for commercial purposes contravenes section 41.1 and is liable
(a) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both; or
(b) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.
–Section 42 of Bill C-61