Michael Geist Concludes 30 Days of DRM

Version of 30 Days of DRM
Canadian Copyright reform is in the air. In anticipation of possible legislative action this fall, Michael Geist’s 30 day series of daily articles “30 Days of DRM” has come to an end. While he ultimately argues, as I do, that it would be preferable NOT to adopt
DMCAlike anti-circumvention legislation in Canada, the Conservative government may succumb to the copyright lobby. These articles, which are quite good, propose limitations that should be included in any such Canadian DMCA-like legislation to fairly protect Canadian consumers and to guard against the multitude of problems created by the U.S.’s enactment of anti-circumvention measures in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

30 Days of DRM:
Day 1 – Linking Copyright and Anti-Circumvention (Markets)
Day 2 – Region Coding (Markets)
Day 3 – Oversite of DRM Misuse (Markets)
Day 4 – DRM Misuse Sanctions (Markets)
Day 5 – DRM Labeling and Consumer Awareness (Public Protection)
Day 6 – Interoperability (Public Protection and Markets)
Day 7 – DRM-Free Library Deposits (Public Protection)
Day 8 – Privacy (Circumvention Rights)
Day 9 – Reverse Engineering (Circumvention Rights)
Day 10 – Security Research(Circumvention Rights)
Day 11 – Involuntary Installation of Software (Circumvention Rights)
Day 12 – Research and Private Study (Circumvention Rights)
Day 13 – Criticism, Review and News Reporting (Circumvention Rights)
Day 14 – Private Copying (Circumvention Rights)
Day 15 – Artistic Access (Circumvention Rights)
Day 16 – System Repair (Circumvention Rights)
Day 17 – Broken or Obsolete Technology (Circumvention Rights)
Day 18 – Backup Copies of Software (Circumvention Rights)
Day 19 – Backup Copies of Digital Consumer Products (Circumvention Rights)
Day 20 – Public Domain (Circumvention Rights)
Day 21 – Print Disabilities Circumvention Rights)
Day 22 – Libraries (Circumvention Rights)
Day 23 – Education Institutions (Circumvention Rights)
Day 24 – Time Shifting (Circumvention Rights)
Day 25 – Statutory Obligations (Circumvention Rights)
Day 26 – Investigation of Concealed Code (Circumvention Rights)
Day 27 – Government Works (DRM Policy)
Day 28 – Review of New Circumvention Rights (Circumvention Rights)
Day 29 – No Ban on Circumvention Devices (Foundation Issue)
Day 30 – Prohibition on Contractual Circumvention of Rights (Foundation Issue)
30 Things You Can Do

Source: Michael Geist’s 30 Days of DRM Page

Weird Al Yankovic’s New Single: Don’t Download this Song

Click Here to Download the Song (MP3)

To a melody quite reminiscent of "We are the World" (hum… any copyright violations there?), the irreverent Weird Al Yankovic has come out with a new single entitled: "Don't Download this Song" and promptly makes it available for download without any DRM/TPM restrictions. Some choice lyrics:

"Cause you'll start out stealing songs, but then you're robbing liquor stores and selling crack and running over school kids with your car"

"It doesn’t matter if you’re a grandma or a seven year-old girl, they’ll treat you like the evil, hard bitten criminal scum you are."

Sources: Don't Download this Song Website | Wired Blog | MP3.com | Cinema Blend | MP3 Newswire | P2PNet

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New Canadian Coalition of Canadian Art Professionals on Copyright Reform

500+ members of Canada’s art community have formed a new coalition, the Coalition of Art Professionals, arguing for three principles to be enshrined in Canada’s copyright policy: (i) fair access to copyrighted material lies at the heart of copyright; (ii) artist and other creators require certainty of access; and (iii) anti-circumvention laws should not outlaw creative access.

Sources: Coalition’s Press Release  |  Michael Geist  |  Digital Copyright Canada  |  P2PNet
Note: The Canadian Music Creators Coalition was also recently formed with a similar copyright policy reform agenda.

Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies Interviewed about CMCC

Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies was interviewed about the new Canadian Music Creators Coalition on the TV program Canada A.M. this morning. Click on the picture to watch the interview. To quote Steven from the interview:

The other thing that we are seeing happening a lot with the major labels is they are putting what is called DRM, digital rights management, on their tracks. So if you download a track from the iTunes music store or you buy a CD, quite often there is copy protection, which stops you from listening to your music in the way that you want to listen to it. That’s really frustrating as a musician and as a fan. So if I buy a CD and its doesn’t work on my car stereo or I can’t listen to it on my computer at work, that’s messed up!

Source: CMCC Website | Stephen Page Op Ed in National Post (May 1, 2006)

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Canadian Music Creators Coalition Formed to Counter CRIA/RIAA

Many of Canada’s most prominent recording artists, including the Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan have formed the CMCC to have their “voices heard about the laws and policies that affect our livelihoods”. Contrary to the lobbying efforts of the CRIA/RIAA, the CMCC believes that: (i) suing fans, as is done by CRIA and the RIAA, is destructive and hypocritical – “the government should repeal provisions of the Copyright Act that allow labels to unfairly punish fans who share music for non-commercial purposes with statutory damages of $500 to $20,000 per song”; and (ii) digital locks enforced by DMCA-like laws are risky and counterproductive – “laws should protect artists and consumers, not restrictive technologies – consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice.”

Sources: CMCC Press Release | CMCC Website | Michael Geist | Howard Knopf | Globe & Mail | ars technica | P2PNet | Digital Copyright Canada | Wired Bogs | Tech News World | Linux Electrons | CD Freaks | EFF

Dale’s Comment: As Howard Knopf so eloquently says: “This is music to my ears”. The CMCC is essentially calling for copyright reforms similar to those passed by the French Legislature on March 21 (see story here). Let’s see if American recording artists follow suit.

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My Morning Jacket Burns New CDs for Fans Replacing Sony’s CDs with Rootkits

Rock Group My Morning Jacket is taking matters in its own hands by providing burned replacement CDs to its fans that had purchased its CDs with Sony's controversial rootkit software.

Sources: MTV | ContactMusic.com | NME | Murmors | Aversion

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No-Guilt Downloads: Free Books, Music, and Movies

A few brave musicians similarly post free copies of their albums online and allow people to record and distribute their concerts for free. In most cases, the creators retain copyright to the books or recordings, but they permit fans to make copies for their own use. Many other works–books, music, and even films–are in the public domain. This means that you can download them, upload them, package and sell them–whatever. They’re free, period.
Source: PCWorld