Bill C-11, TPMs, Private Use and Statutory Damages

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The Montreal Gazette ran an editorial today regarding Bill C-11 (the Copyright Modernization Act) (The Gazette's View: Bringing copyright law into the 21st century), which contains a glaring factual error regarding statutory damages and technological protection measures (TPMs). From the editorial [emphasis added]:

Less welcome, and the sticking point in previous attempts to pass this bill, is the blanket provision against breaking digital locks, even for purposes of personal use. This includes picking a lock on a DVD purchased overseas to watch at home, or transferring a purchased e-book to read to another personal device. The bill provides for $5,000 fines for even the smallest such violations.

This provision was apparently included as a result of heavy pressure from U.S. authorities and in the interest of maintaining cross-border trade and exemption from protectionist measures that would prevent Canadian firms from bidding on U.S. government procurement contracts. It is unlikely that there will be many prosecutions under this article as long as violations are committed in the privacy of people’s homes and not for any commercial purpose, but it is still a niggling restriction that caves in to the U.S. at the expense of the right of average Canadians to do what they wish to with their own property for their own enjoyment.

Please see full article below for more information.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Civil Remedies Updates, Intellectual Property Updates, International Trade Updates, Science, Computers & Technology Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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