Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bill C-61 and Me

Last Thursday, the government tabled bill C-61 that deals with copyright on the digital world. In a nutshell, the bill says that:
  • you can only rip CD's that you own (ie. your sister / brother cannot rip it).
  • you can record TV shows for later viewing, but you cannot build a library of digital movies on your computer.
  • you cannot bypass technology that disallow you to rip/record. Technology to unlock DVD, cell phone, etc are illegal.
I am not an expert on law. There are more to it than what I wrote above (including clauses for fines, etc). At first glance, though, I know that the third condition would make it almost impossible for the first and second rights to be carried out. If you have the right to rip the CD you own, but the big company decides to put a lock on it, then kiss your rights goodbye.

I am not sure if this bill will ever pass. If the government does not listen to regular Canadians and vote based on their own experience, then there is a big chance it will. After all, their salary is so high up there that the changes proposed won't affect them much (in my opinion).

As for me, I hope it doesn't pass. I rip most of my CD's, and then lose them (which is why I rip CD's in the first place). I cannot prove I own those CD's anymore. Also I won't be able to watch Indonesian's DVD as well if this bill passes, since the region decoding is different than North America, and having region free DVD player will be illegal.

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