If you have been following me on Twitter I want to apologize for all of the tweets about Bill C32. I don’t usually spend a lot of time following politics, mainly because I find it boring, but then the government goes and does something so tremendously stupid that I get a little frustrated and angry. I am not a lawyer so I won’t go into some long an drawn out explanation about Bill C32. For a very good plain english understanding of the Bill read Michael Geist blog. He does a great job of explaining the Bill the good and bad points. Of course if you read the official government information on the bill it is all roses. To be blunt that is nothing but total BULLSHIT! And that is why I HATE politics, they can’t even smell the shit they are shoveling.
To get on to why I hate Bill C32 is because of the whole digital lock problem. The bill does allow some more rights to people like allowing you to format shift music from CD’s to your MP3 player. It does not allow people to format shift video from DVD. Now the politicians will say it does as long as there is no digital lock. Since 98% of DVD produced these days have digital locks that does not leave many DVD’s that you can format shift to your iPod, Android phone, laptop, netbook etc.\
There is also another problem. I use Linux as my main operating system. I have a Windows computer that still runs Windows XP that we use as a family computer, but Linux is what I use most. Some of the things I use Linux for include playing DVD’s, backing up our DVD’s and you guessed it, format shifting content from my DVD’s to the computer to play using my Western Digital HD Live. All of those things will soon make me a criminal. The main reason is because Linux has to use something called DeCSS to decode a DVD because the DVD CCA will not provide a license for free software players.
Any rights that Bill C32 gives people are gone as soon as you break a digital lock. By playing a DVD on my Linux computer I am a criminal. By backing up one of the DVD’s I bought, I am a criminal for one breaking the lock on my Linux computer and then by copying it to my computer in a different format. Then to format shift that same content onto my Android phone, or play on my laptop I am a criminal. I never set out to be a criminal, and I am sure that the majority of people under 35 (I would say 40 but I like to think I am special 🙂 ) will probably be with me. Even if they don’t use Linux if people want to format shift video they will need to break a digital lock on their DVD’s to copy and move the data.
Looking at what the US is like after Twelve Years under the DMCA it seems like we should be able to learn a lesson from them. Instead of passing laws like the DMCA in Canada lets actually look forward to creating a copyright law that will actually help instead of making us all criminals for doing things we are still going to do if the law passes.