Michael Geist Wraps Up 30 Days of DRM

Michael Geist, a retiring member of the CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority,) which is responsible for all the ‘.ca’ domains, has wrapped up his ’30 Days of DRM’ series.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The series was meant, among other things, to highlight the downfalls of DRM through actual examples and well thought out arguments.

His series started exactly 30 days before the Canadian government returned to parliament. The reason for this is because it is expected that the well talked about Copyright reform bill will be discussed and tabled. Many remember the last Copyright reform bill (Bill C-60) as a controversial piece of legislation that died on the order paper. It is rumoured that the copyright reform bill this time around will be a priority for the current Canadian government.

Some remain optimistic that this reform bill will prove to be far less controversial then the previous copyright reform bill. The reasoning behind this is because a large number of organizations and interest groups have sent multiple letters pressuring the government, more often than not, to have a much more relaxed copyright law set in place. Many of those organizations and groups, including Telus, have pushed for Network neutrality and a provision more in line with the US’s “Fair Use” provision which was set in the American court system at the end of the Betamax trial.

Other groups and organizations appear to be much more neutral. These groups appear to call for anti-circumvention laws that do not harm consumers in ways demonstrated by the Sony MediaMax/Rootkit fiasco (which was recently settled – though not without controversy.)

Some groups took to the other side and have demanded for anti-circumvention laws with “Notice-and-Takedown” provisions as well as ratification of the WIPO treaties to “play catch-up” (WIPO has also landed in recent controversy.)

The “30 Days of DRM” takes a look at many aspects of DRM. It goes into marketing, monopolies, competition, consumer rights, and many more aspects. The days are numbered from 1 – 30 respectively in the following:

Linking Copyright and Anti-Circumvention (Markets)

Region Coding (Markets)

Oversight of DRM Misuse (Markets)

DRM Misuse Sanctions (Markets)

DRM Labelling and Consumer Awareness (Public Protection)

Interoperability (Public Protection and Markets)

DRM-Free Library Deposits (Public Protection)

Privacy (Circumvention Rights)

Reverse Engineering (Circumvention Rights)

Security Research (Circumvention Rights)

Involuntary Installation of Software (Circumvention Rights)

Research and Private Study (Circumvention Rights)

Criticism, Review and News Reporting (Circumvention Rights)

Private Copying (Circumvention Rights)

Artistic Access (Circumvention Rights)

System Repair (Circumvention Rights)

Broken or Obsolete Technology (Circumvention Rights)

Backup Copies of Software (Circumvention Rights)

Backup Copies of Digital Consumer Products (Circumvention Rights)

Public Domain (Circumvention Rights)

Print Disabilities (Circumvention Rights)

Libraries (Circumvention Rights)

Education Institutions (Circumvention Rights)

Time Shifting (Circumvention Rights)

Statutory Obligations (Circumvention Rights)

Investigation of Concealed Code (Circumvention Rights)

Government Works (DRM Policy)

Review of New Circumvention Rights (Circumvention Rights)

No Ban on Circumvention Devices (Foundational Issue)

Prohibition on Contractual Circumvention of Rights (Foundational Issue)

A wiki page is also offered here.

It has been a long and interesting 30 days. Now it seems it’ll only be a matter of time before the proposed legislation for copyright is revealed. It’ll answer the burning questions many have had for a long time. What is the current government stance on Copyright? What will the bill look like? These are but a couple of many questions on many people‚Äôs minds as the government take their seats in Ottawa. After the conclusion of the running series, many hope the Copyright legislation will prove to be favourable, but it is unlikely to fully satisfy all sides given how many different sides to the issue there really are.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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