There has been lots of news about the new Bill-C61 in Canada. You’d think that this was just to thwart peer-to-peer sharing and bit-torrent activity but it looks like there is a lot more. Have you ever ripped a CD for play on an iPod? I know I’ve only ripped about 250GB of music. I would be put away for good.
Darryl Moore from Digital Copyright has come up with a good summary of what will be illegal if such a bill should be passed:
Television Recording (when ‘NO COPY’ broadcast flag is set)
The Bill pretends to give fair use rights to time shift tv viewing 29.23(1), however the TPM clauses take precedence 29.23(1)(b). Therefore all the broadcasters need to do to take this right away is to set the ‘NO COPY’ flag in the digital broadcasts. They have absolutely no motivation not to do this, any plenty of motivation to do it. So expect it.
Ripping DVD to computer, juke box, ipod or anything really.
DVD, BlueRay, and what ever formats supersede these in the future will be illegal to format shift. 29.21(1) The only video content you will be allowed to format shift is videocassette, so you can expect the format shifting provisions of this bill to become less ans less relevant as time goes by.
Unlocking a service provider locked cell phone
Don’t even think of taking your phone out of the country, and don’t think of changing service providers. Supporters of this provision say this is necessary because the service providers subsidize the cost of the phone. While this is true, financial compensation to the provider is already provided for in the long term locked in contract you sighed up for. Locking you into their service is unnecessary and anti-competitive. (section 41)
Ripping CDs (which will increasing be sold with digital locks)
Just as with TV broadcasts and time shifting, your right to format shift 29.22(1) that the government grants through this bill is easily revoked by the content industry by placing a digital lock on the disc. 29.22(1)(c) You can certainly expect more and more CDs to be encumbered with TPM in the future. Get ready to purchase and then perpetually repurchase content every time you change your music playing hardware.
Keeping a library of recorded TV shows
Throw out your VHS collection of old TV shows. This Bill explicitely makes it illegal to keep any home recorded TV show beyond the first viewing of the recording. Don’t lend out the tapes to friends or family either. 29.23(1)(d)
Posting family vacation photo on flickr (taken by kind stranger)
Have you gone on vacation before and asked a stranger to take a group photo of you and your group? Well, with this Bill, the stranger who took that photo will now be the copyright owner of it. To be completely within the law you will have to get him to sign a photo release or be content to keep the photo locked away in a photoalbum. Don’t share it over the Internet. (repeal of section 10)
Hacking game machines (XBOXs) to install Linux or other software
This may be illegal. The bill does say that it is OK to hack TPMs for the purpose of software compatibility, but the same hack would make it easy to play those pirated games too. You would likely have to convince the judge what your primary purpose was. You could certainly expect the game industry to provide you with the opportunity to do so in court.
Watching out-of-region-coded DVDs
This would probably be legal if you had purchased two or more DVD players with different region codes. But setting up your DVD player to be region free, or playing the DVD under linux would likely be illegal.
NOTE: there is a lot more information on Darryl’s blog about Bill-C61.