Copy Protection & Canadians
This is an archived article. Please consult the blog for additional information.
According to C-Net News, it appears certain members of the music industry have been experimenting with a copy protection scheme created to degrade the quality of copies from their recordings in response to the unauthorized peer to peer distribution of copyrighted material. It is believed that some consumers have already been subjected to this experiment, having purchased recordings that cannot be copied, even for personal use.

As a consumer, I believe this response by the industry is unacceptable. I believe that the industry itself precipitated the unauthorized distribution of their material by failing to establish a digital distribution system to replace the distribution of domestic “singles” in many countries (including Canada) and the manipulation of recordings to prevent copying simply disregards our rights to make personal copies, given to us by an amendment to the copyright act in 1998 (Bill C-32). It also further reduces the validity of a blank audio recording levy introduced in this amendment and removes the functionality of legal devices purchased to make authorized copies. 

I believe it is now time for the industry to invest in technology and not against it. This scheme voids progress and inconveniences the consumer, who is made responsible for the actions of a minority. The Canadian consumer already pays a levy on blank audio recording media so I believe it is reasonable to demand the rights we've been given by law in Canada.

Please FAX your (polite) letters of protest against any implementation of this copy protection scheme in Canada to the Canadian Recording Industry Association at (416) 967-9415. 


Update - Most labels have decided to drop copy protection scemes from their compact discs and the current paid download services, many of which are listed on my legal download site listings, are offering MP3s or are in the process of removing DRM for their downloads.


Details on amendment Bill C-32 - In 1998, the copyright act was amended with Bill C-32 to conform to international treaties on copyright. This bill authorizes copies of copyrighted recordings for personal  use and includes a levy,  paid by manufacturers and importers of blank audio tape, DATs, mini discs, CD Audio and CDR/CDRW to a collective responsible for the distribution of these levies to rights agencies, who in turn distribute the remaining funds to their members as compensation for lost royalties due to unauthorized duplication and distribution of their recordings and compositions.

Links To Additional Information
Parliament Records - Bill C-32
The Canadian Private Copying Collective
The Canadian Recording Industry Association
The Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access
Information on the Blank Media Levy

Related Articles
C-Net News article on Copy Protection