Monday, August 25, 2008

CLA Advocacy Material on Bill C-61

The CLA has posted some advocacy material on Bill C-61, available here.

Although the suggested letter contains some good points, I'm frankly puzzled by what is meant by the term "Technical Prevention Measures" and what the CLA means by:
New copyright legislation should punish copyright-infringing behaviour, but should prohibit the circumvention of technological prevention measures for legal purposes.

PS - the site now says:

Prohibitions against the circumvention of digital locks should be limited to acts of copyright infringement, but should not prohibit the circumvention of technological prevention measures for legal purposes.

This makes more sense, but I still don't know what is meant by technical "prevention" [sic?] measures.

Another suggestion would be to update the CLA's copyright infromation page
which includes some obsolete and less than useful references, and does not include such useful material as Laura Murray's and Sam Trosow's
excellent book, which is the best single source book on copyright for librarians at the present time.


  1. A 'technological prevention measure' is any attempt, effective or not, to prevent technological advancement from rendering anachronistic privileges such as copyright unviable, e.g. obfuscating a decryption key supplied to a purchaser of an encrypted work, such that they are disinclined from locating it.

    Technological prevention measures are invariably ineffective and have to be supported by laws that criminalise exploitation of their ineffectiveness, e.g. the DMCA criminalising the act of helping purchasers of encrypted works to locate the decryption key in their possession.

    The instigators and proponents of technological prevention measures are invariably members of a neo-luddism movement who seek to force the Internet to retain the limitations of a traditional hot metal printing press and telegraph network, rather than have these as mere metaphors to introduce people to the realities of the far more powerful instantaneous diffusion device that the Internet actually is.

  2. I think I actually prefer "technological prevention measure" to the more standard "technological protection measure" or even Bill C-61's simple "technological measure." TPMs clearly prevent people from doing things, but do they really protect anyone?