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Friday, June 11, 2010

My Take on Bill C-32 (Part 3)

Welcome to Friday, folks!

I gotta say, I totally underestimated how much work reading this bill would be - most of it came from the fact that once I started reading it I realized that I had absolutely no context for the changes that were being listed.

It read more like some weird chapter out of an insane cartographer's journal, bits to be slipped in or replaced -- factual data rewritten and inserted pointing to new findings or outcroppings on some old, well-worn landscape; a landscape recalled from memory, useless to all except those who've trod the same dusty grounds.

On the bright side, I think I'm starting to figure out some landmarks to help me get around here -- which is nice 'cause this whole next section 'Backup Copies' looks like it's out in uncharted territory.

The new section 'Backup Copies' in 29.24 makes it legal for you to keep a backup copy of 'a work or other subject-matter' as long as you either own it or have a license to use said work. This backup can only be for true 'backup' purposes (in case the original is lost, damaged or otherwise unuseable) and you can't have gotten around any digital locks in order to make it. Also, you're not allow to give it away and must destroy all copies if you get rid of the original source.

One thing I wonder about is the practice of buying a DVD, ripping it and then keeping the original DVD as a backup? It sort of sounds like it's covered (you own the DVD) but at the same time it's sort of the reverse of this - storing the DVD and using the digital copy.

I don't know if it's in here yet or if it's coming up later, but I also wonder about the process of 're-processing' or 're-sizing' said backup for use. For example, if you rip it from a DVD it's going to come off at whatever resolution it was put on the DVD as, but if you want to put it on an iPod or something you're probably going to want to re-size it and/or downgrade the video/audio quality so as not to eat up too much space.

Is this considered against the law?

Now we find ourselves moving into more of a 'Teaching' theme.

In section 29.4(1) "Reproduction for Instruction" -- reminder these links point to the original Copyright Act and are to be used for comparison to the new C-32 -- it looks like my previous question is SORT of answered in that a school or teacher is now allowed to 'reproduce' a work, or 'do any other necessary act in order to display it'.

Of course I doubt re-sizing a video to put it on your iPod fits on this list but at least teachers are now allowed to do what they must to get their lessons up and displayed for their students.

Naturally this is limited in subsection 29.4(3) "Where the work [is] commercially available" where, if the work is commercially available for the purposes you're trying to use it for -- ie: buying the iPod version of the movie as opposed to downgrading it (?) -- then you have to go that route first. If a commercial route doesn't exist then you're free to do what you've gotta do to get it up there for hungry young minds to devour.

Subsections 29.5(b) and (d) "Performances" -- with d being a whole new subsection -- basically add stipulations that public performances, for educational purposes, are fine as long as it is not an 'infringing' copy.

I'm going push pause on this for now 'cause, well, it's a Friday -- but look for a rare (and rainy... boo!) Saturday Sunday update tomorrow where I pick up from here.

Cheers!
Brandon

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