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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Take on Bill C-32 (Part 6)

Okay, back to the Bill.

Bill C-32, that is. The new, proposed Copyright bill.

Reminder: You can read the new, proposed Bill C-32 here and the original Copyright Act here. Also: All links provided below are for comparison purposes, so you can see what used to be side by side with what's being proposed.

So now we find ourselves in Section 30.1(1)(c) "Management and Maintenance Of Collection" -- Some new language added here, basically saying that if a library, archive or museum (or person working for them) thinks that the original work is in a format that is or is becoming obsolete, or that the tech required to operate it is becoming unavailable, then it's okay to make a copy of it.

Moving on to sections 30.2 "Research or Private Study" there are two sections being replaced (4) "Conditions" and (5) "Patrons of Other Libraries, etc.".

In 30.2(4) the wording has been changed to say that a library, archive or museum may "provide" the person for whom the copy "is" made under subsection (2) as long as they're only given a single copy and that the person is informed that the copy is only for research or private study. Any other use of the copy may require the authorization of the copyright owner of the work.

For 30.2(5) it looks like they've just added "Subject to subsection (5.02)" off the top... but then they go on to add whole new sections (5.01) and (5.02).

30.2(5.01) says that making a copy of a work in a way other than by reprographic reproduction is "deemed making a copy of the work that may be done under subsection (2)".

30.2(5.02) imposes some limitations - namely that a library, archive or museum (or person working there) may provide a digital copy to a person who's requested it through another library, archive or museum provided said library, archive or museum takes measures to prevent the person from making a copy of the digital copy (including paper copies, other than printing one copy), sending the digital file to someone else or using said copy for more than 5 days from the day it's first used.

How the bloody heck anyone's going to keep someone from doing any of this... is beyond me. This mostly reads to me like "Sure, you can give people digital copies but YOU'RE responsible for what they do with them". Which basically translates to: "There's no way in hell anyone's going to put their neck out on the line for this". I mean, really, what 'measures' are you going to take? How are you going to track what a person does with a digital file once you hand it over to them? Let alone make sure they don't copy and/or distribute it?

Unless I'm reading it wrong and they mean something akin to the opposite.

Alternatively, maybe I should read this as more of an escape clause -- more of a "as long as you've told them these things" you're in the clear. Ie: "Don't drive 140 on the highway, you're gonna get hurt or arrested" "Yeah, sure, whatever". Once you've told them, your part is done. If they wrap themselves around a guard rail or get busted, that's not on you.

Is that a more accurate reading? I'm not entirely sure. Might be more likely though.

Section 30.21(1) "Copying Works Deposited In Archive" adds some new language. Basically saying that "Subject to subsections (3) and (3.1)" it's not infringement for an archive to make and provide a copy of an unpublished work from that archive for any person requesting it for research or private study.

Subsections 30.21(3) "Conditions For Copying Of Works" and (4) "Regulations" have been replaced. Subsection (3) just adds new language that the archive may only copy the work "on the condition that" the person who deposited the work, if the copyright owner, did not prohibit its copying -- or that some other owner of the copyright has not prohibited it.

A whole new subsection here 30.31(3.1) "Conditions For Providing Copy" is pretty much more of the same - can only provide someone with a copy as long as it's a single copy and the archive tells them it's only for research or private study.

Subsection (4) says -- and this is worth a read:

"(4) The Governor in Council may prescribe by regulation the manner and form in which the conditions set out in subsections (3) and (3.1) may be met."

So, finally, in Section 30.6 we get into 'Computer Programs - Permitted Acts" -- I'm sure there's quite a few people who'll want to read this section.

"It is not an infringement of copyright in a computer program for a person who owns a copy of the computer program that is authorized by the owner of the copyright, or has a licence to use a copy of the computer program,

(a) reproduce the copy by adapting, modifying or converting it, or translating it into another computer language, if the person proves that the reproduced copy (i) is essential for the compatibility of the computer program with a particular computer, (ii) is solely for the person’s own use, and (iii) was destroyed immediately after the person ceased to be the owner of the copy of the computer program or to have a licence to use it; or (b) reproduce for backup purposes the copy or a reproduced copy referred to in paragraph (a) if the person proves that the reproduction for backup purposes was destroyed immediately after the person ceased to be the owner of the copy of the computer program or to have a licence to use it."

Basically, and if I'm reading this right, if you buy the program or have a license to use said program you can basically do whatever you want with it as long as you don't share it. Copy it, recompile it, whatever as long it never leaves your hands...?

But what about instructing others on how to do the changes? I mean, you can't share the program, sure, but can you share the knowledge of how one can modify said program, on their own, for their own personal use without it being an infringement? Could you even then claim copyright over the instruction of how to modify said program...??

Wow, I shouldn't think about this too hard.

New section 30.61 "Interoperability Of Computer Programs" says that it's not an infringement for a person who owns/licenses a copy of a computer program to copy the program for the sole purpose of obtaining information that would allow the person to make the program and any other computer program interoperable.

So if you're one of those folks who likes to figure out how to make one program work with another, you're golden here... apparently.

Tomorrow we get into "Encryption Research" and "Network Services".

So long for now!

Cheers,
Brandon

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