[kwlug-disc] [Wsic] Your country needs you (or "Our MP is on the C-32 committee")

Denver Gingerich denver at ossguy.com
Sat Nov 20 12:14:23 EST 2010

On Sat, Nov 20, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Kyle Spaans <3lucid at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 20, 2010 at 11:53 AM, Kyle Spaans <3lucid at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, Nov 20, 2010 at 10:16 AM, Denver Gingerich <denver at ossguy.com> wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> Apparently (and quite surprisingly to me) Peter Braid is one of the 12
>>> people on the committee that will be revising Bill C-32:
>> I've attached the contents of a reply I got via email from Peter Braid's office. I
>> think he was trying to convince me that C-32 really does have friendly exemptions
>> for consumers to time/format-shift etc... Does anyone know if what that email
>> claims is true, or is a misdirection?
> Oops, I meant to say exceptions for circumvention, not time/format-shifting in
> particular (the email says that this kind of circumvention is bad).

Here is the quotation from the e-mail from Braid's office that I think
you were referring to:

The bill includes a number of specific instances where hacking digital
locks is permitted. Digital locks can be hacked for the following

*	Law enforcement and national security activities;
*	reverse engineering for software compatibility;
*	security testing of systems;
*	encryption research;
*	personal information protection;
*	temporary recordings made by broadcast undertakings;
*	access for persons with perceptual disabilities; and
*	unlocking a wireless device.

And yes, to a _very_ limited extent, Braid's office is correct.  Here
is an example (of the first exception listed above) straight from Bill

41.11 (1) Paragraph 41.1(1)(a) does not apply if a technological
protection measure is circumvented for the purposes of an
investigation related to the enforcement of any Act of Parliament or
any Act of the legislature of a province, or for the purposes of
activities related to the protection of national security.

(2) Paragraph 41.1(1)(b) does not apply if the services are provided
by or for the persons responsible for carrying out such an
investigation or such activities.

(3) Paragraph 41.1(1)(c) does not apply if the technology, device or
component is manufactured, imported or provided by the persons
responsible for carrying out such an investigation or such activities,
or is manufactured, imported, provided or offered for sale or rental
as a service provided to those persons.

You can search the bill for the phrase "technological protection
measure" to find more of the exceptions.  The full text is here:


So yes, the exceptions do exist.  But they don't fix some of the major
problems, such as the loss to competition (the video from iTunes case
I mentioned earlier, which might gain traction with Braid) or the
inability to play DVDs/Blu-ray Discs using free software (much less
likely that Braid will care).

Although they do allow one to distribute anti-circumvention tools,
they must only be distributed for specific purposes.  So if I give you
libdvdcss, I must first know that you will only be using it to engage
in one of the exceptions, otherwise I will be liable for whatever
infringements you commit with your copy of libdvdcss (under the
current bill, watching a DVD with VLC would be such an infringement).

As a result, I couldn't host a Debian repository in Canada that
contains libdvdcss (without risk of liability) because people could
use it for any purpose, not just the purposes described by the

It would be much better if C-32 focused exclusively on "[providing]
adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the
circumvention of effective technological measures ... that restrict
acts ... which are not ... permitted by [copyright] law", as the WIPO
Internet Treaties prescribe:


An example of implementing the treaties in this way would be to say
"circumventing a technological protection measure is illegal if and
only if it is done for the purpose of infringing copyright".  This
would be much simpler than the many-paragraph list of infringement
cases and exceptions that the bill has now and would avoid many of the
unintended consequences of implementing broad prohibitions on
circumvention (restriction removal) tools like the bill has now.  You
may find this list of unintended consequences of the DMCA useful, as
Bill C-32 would have very similar effects to the DMCA if passed as-is:



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