1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Monday, 3 October 2011

Canada's Bill and the hacking of digital locks

On Saturday this weblog posted a short note, "Canada moves to modernise its copyright law". Canadian IP/IT lawyer and blogger Barry Sookman has now kindly drawn our attention to his own post today, "Some observations on Bill C-11: The Copyright Modernization Act", a lengthy and detailed analysis and commentary which you can read here. In clarifying what the Bill (which he tells us has been misreported by a number of news sources) actually says, he adds:
"The Bill does not prohibit hacking copy control digital locks for any purpose and there are multiple exceptions that permit circumventing access control TPMs. Moreover, Section 41.1(3) of the Bill expressly precludes an award of statutory damages against an individual who circumvents a TPM for his or her own private purposes. Accordingly, it is flat out wrong to claim that an individual could be liable for “thousands of dollars in legal damages” for hacking a TPM for personal purposes. Further, even if statutory damages did apply, which they do not, the Bill would limit such damages to a range, the maximum of which would be $5,000 for the most egregious case". 
Thanks, Barry!

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