Parliament Buildings, CanadaThe Canadian Federation of Students has proposed “a series of recommendations for Bill C-32 the Copyright Modernization Act to ensure it strikes a fair balance between the rights of users and creators,” according to a CFS news release on Feb. 1.

“Education and innovation depends on fair access to copyrighted works,” said Dave Molenhuis, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “A few simple amendments would ensure fair copyright for all Canadians.”

The recommendations center around the need for a “fair use” policy similar to that in U.S. copyright law, and laws that accept the concept of fair use and decriminalize those who would use copyrighted materials in ways that would be covered by fair use.

One of the targets of these recommendations is the softening of “digital locks,” their term for DRM, on copyrighted works.  Though they do not demand their removal (except on all documents provided by libraries, museums and archives), they do demand that circumventing those digital locks for fair use purposes should be decriminalized.  Further, they want all technologies that can be used to remove those digital locks to be made legal, and they want copyright owners to provide assistance in circumventing those locks for fair use.

The document further suggests that the C-32 bill is poorly-written by those who do not understand the realities and ramifications of digital documents.  It also states that such softening of the bill would not lead to increased litigation, because the “bounds of fair dealing have been well established by the courts, the principles of which will not be changed by this expansion.”  It does not address how documents so easily de-DRM’d will avoid being shared by students, a clear violation of current copyright law.

The full text of the recommendations can be viewed in the first link.


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