Friday, October 7, 2011

Canada to Support Evil

I knew this was going to happen. . . but I wanted the 'tough on crime' Bill and the eradication of the long gun registry. . .

The specific evil to which I refer in the title of this post is the provision in Bill C-32 that makes it illegal to break DRM even for personal use of media that you paid for.

Let's be clear here: DRM is evil! It is the equivalent of selling a house that only one person can live in, no one can visit, the key may or may not open the front door even if the newest version of key has been provided, ownership can be revoked at any moment at the whim of the vendor, yet it cannot be resold when the 'owner' needs to move to a new city and it cannot be jacked up and trucked to the new property.

The most annoying aspect of this is that DRM serves no purpose unless law-abiding customer annoyance is the purpose. Pirates tear through DRM like tissue paper. Sometimes, the new encryption is broken before it even hits the market.

In fact, it can be argued that digital piracy exists, in part, because of DRM. This is due to the annoyance factor. Personally I have been stung with a number of Blu-rays that simply won't load despite installation of the latest firmware. Worse yet, the new firmware broke compatibilty with some of my Blu-rays that previously would load.

And I know I'm not the only one being inconvenienced by DRM. In fact, I would wager that the only people being inconvenienced by DRM are legal consumers. I've read many testimonials on the internet from those who have purchased a game that, due to draconian DRM (worthy of its own post), was unplayable so they downloaded a cracked copy. I've also read about people ripping DVD's just so that they don't have to watch the anti-piracy ad every time they want to watch a movie.

Just to highlight some of the lunacy this Bill represents, here are a few quotes from the article listed above:

"Bill C-32 would make it legal for consumers to make a back-up copy of content to protect against loss or damage."

Then later:

"Under the law, Canadians will not be allowed to break digital locks, even if it's for personal use. This includes picking a lock on a DVD purchased overseas to watch at home or to transfer a purchased e-book to read on another personal device."

How does it even make sense to say that you can make backups for personal use, yet you can not bypass the DRM to do so?


Meanwhile there is still no word about removal of the 29 cent levy on blank CD's, which is supposed to compensate musical artists for piracy (and tacitly making said piracy legal) or how this will affect the Mountie's stance regarding file-sharers.

And hey, what is a conservative government doing meddling in the affairs of business anyway?

P.s. Tivo and other PVRs were illegal? What was Futureshop really selling in all those boxes then?

"The law will legalize everyday consumer practices, such as using a personal video recorder to record a TV show for later viewing or copying music from a purchased CD to an MP3 player. These are not allowed under the current law."

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