An open letter to the to Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access (CCFDA)

“”By contrast, for example, digital technology in the form of technical protection measures (TPMs) and Digital Rights Management Systems (DRMS) makes it possible for the copyright holder to receive market priced compensation each time a new copy is made.””

I am in strong support of your campaign,

with the exception of the stated support for TPM’s. TPM’s require that Information and Communications Technology tools ignore or disobey the instructions of the owner of these tools, and instead obey the desires of the copyright holder and/or the tool manufacturer. TPM’s allow copyright holders and/or tool manufacturers to limit not only unlawful, but lawful uses of works under copyright.

Any ‘hardware assist’ for communications, whether it be eye-glasses, VCR’s, or personal computers, must be under the control of the citizen and not a third party.

Corollary: The “”content industries””, such as the motion picture and recording industries, are not legitimate stakeholders in the discussion of what features should or should not exist in my personal computer or VCR, any more than they are a legitimate stakeholder in the production of my corrective eye-glasses. If a member of a content industry don’t like the technology that exists in a given market sector, be it consumer electronics in the home or personal computers, they can simply not offer their products/services into that market.

Given a possible choice between “”legal protection for TPM””, such as implemented recently by the DMCA in the USA, and the Canadian private copying regime, I am reluctantly forced to consider the private copying tax to be the lesser of these two extreme evils.

Russell McOrmond is an Internet consultant.

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