[kwlug-disc] are you going to be a criminal?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sat Jun 5 22:47:15 EDT 2010

Khalid Baheyeldin wrote, On 06/05/2010 9:23 PM:
> On Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 9:16 PM, John Johnson <jvj at golden.net> wrote:
>> At 11:49 2010-06-04, Khalid wrote:
>>> So, what I do now on VHS will become impossible, and if I try to
>>> workaround it, I am a criminal.
>> I am sure Khalid was stretching a point and, further, I am sure the people
>> in this community recognize one significant difference between copying VHS
>> (and audio cassette tapes) and copying digital media. With the former there
>> is an inherent introduction of error in the process and resultant loss of
>> fidelity. With the latter, digital media, as we all know, the copy is an
>> exact - error free - image of the original. Hence, pirates, the assumed
>> targets of this legislation, can make exact - error free copies - of
>> original media.
>> This distinction is not readily evident when the usual talking heads in the
>> media are kicking things around. And I would think that some of the suits in
>> Ottawa, similarly, do not realize the difference. I would suggest that any
>> lobbying would be careful to avoid the analogy or, as best as possible, try
>> to clarify the distinction.

I don't think John is correct - the technology, digital or analogue, 
is irrelevant to the principles being advocated. From what I have seen 
so far, technology, or rather, the means, hasn't come into it. Except, 
perhaps, by reference, in the term 'digital locks.' A copy is a copy, 
a copyright infringement is an infridgement, regardless of the 
accuracy of the copy. IANAL.

Before I go further ... Khalid ... are you able to do any of the 
things you mention now? Coming from these digital sources, that is?

IIRC, the broadcast flag, and certainly HDMI, just isn't present, so 
doesn't apply - to analogue signals, the only signals that your VHS 
understands and can record. But I forget, for sure.

> I was not stretching it.
> Yes, there are differences, but look at the big picture: I am now able to
> watch something that is legal to record. I am able to loan the copy I made
> to a friend.

Hold that thought - pending the above question.

> I will no longer be able to do that because of a broadcast flag, HDMI
> encryption, DVD encryption, and what not. Locks after locks after locks.

This one too.

> Because the technology allows an exact copy does not mean they should change
> the laws to limit what the consume would do.
> I don't mind if they criminalize resale of copies (what is meant by the
> modern term "piracy", like what happens on the street sides in Hong Kong, or
> warez sites). But beyond that, there shouldn't be TECHNOLOGY LOCKS and then
> LAWS WRITTEN against all consumers.

'LAWS WRITTEN against all consumers'? Want to rephrase? Not sure what 
you're referring to here.

I thought the issue was (taking digital locks out of it, for the 
moment), that whatever copyright law we have or is proposed, which is 
to say the approach Canada has and has had (backup / media format 
change copies are legal), the CRUX of the issue is that the presence 
of a digital lock would SUPERSEDE the rights granted to consumers 
under copyright, to be only what the locking party permitted 
(presumably zero), including the denial of such backup rights granted 
under copyright. And the presence of a digital lock makes it illegal 
for the consumer to assert their rights under copyright.

Is this what you meant, Khalid, or have I totally missed it?

Or, perhaps you meant, the proposed legislation takes away rights 
consumers currently have today.

I'll say the above differently: The presence of a digital lock means 
that the rest of copyright may as well not exist. AND, defeating a 
digital lock is now a finable, (but no longer criminal?), offence, for 
the home consumer.

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