Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, has passed and will become law shortly.
This means you will no longer be able to perform private copies from copy protected recordings and that the sale of software and devices enabling consumers to make backups of pre-recorded DVDs and blu-rays will be forbidden in Canada.
The sale of multi-region DVD or blu-ray players could also be restricted in Canada though I believe this could be challenged legally because the importation of DVDs and blu-rays from other regions have not yet been made illegal.
I believe the playback of legally purchased material will not likely be targeted by law enforcement, the priority being unauthorized mass distributions on the internet and by vendors. But regional coding is a copy protection scheme that is technically protected by the digital copying provisions of Bill C-11.
Unfortunately this means that some consumers will not be able to legally playback films, concerts or music video compilations that are on a DVD or blu-ray disc whose regional coding is incompatible with their North American player, even when this material is not available via a North American distributor.
This material can be delayed or shelved indefinitely by North American distributors who have the rights to distribute it on Region 1 DVDs or Region A blu-rays in North America. And though some do eventually get released on region free discs, somewhere, many titles remain out of reach to Canadians.
Online film distributors like iTunes have helped but the issues remain in regards to the distribution of titles that have not reached a certain popularity in North America. But of course little can be done until clarifications are made in regards to this undistributed content and other issues including the Linux software issue.
Linux based operating systems use software that strip copy protection from DVDs and blu-rays to enable their playback. And some consumers prefer to use this software to view films on their Windows and Mac powered computers.
I personally prefer using Windows Media Center to occasionally play DVDs on my computer. But Microsoft has said that some versions of Windows 8 will not include DVD playback in a May 2012 blog entry so I will likely be forced to playback DVDs and blu-ray discs using software from the DVD or blu-ray drive manufacturer in the future.
Yes, most of the major manufacturers will probably include software like
CinePlayer with their drives. But will DVD and blu-ray drive manufacturers be allowed to include Linux based software with their products to enable their consumers to view content ?
Ultimately the courts will decide whether the digital lock provisions apply to these situations and we wont know until then.
I suspect the members of parliament will simply ask people to consult attorneys for their interpretations of the new copyright act. But if I find information I will try to link it.