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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
Documents received have been posted in the official language in which they were submitted. All are posted as received by the departments, however all address information has been removed.
Submission from Richard Anthony Hein received on July 24, 2001 2:20 PM via e-mail
Subject: Copyright Reform
Preventing the tampering or prohibiting tampering of rights management devices is not a good idea, as demonstrated clearly by the DMCA and the recent arrest of Dimitri Sklyarov - without bail for simply demonstrating that Adobe Corp. encryption was flawed. If the Adobe software was a car, and someone demonstrated that they security or the mechanical operation was flawed, surely they would never be arrested.
The idea that corporations and rights holders should maintain rights adinfinitum is ludicrous. Copyright is about ensuring that the authors get compensated for their work; it is not to ensure a legacy of closed information in order to build up a multinational corporation. Copyright expires in order to allow people to take works and distribute them on the public domain. Imagine if there were no public domain media? In 50 years there won't be any new public domain media, if copyright shifts to favour corporations.
If corporations and authors are worried about 'digital copyright infringement' they should make better encryption devices. If someone breaks it, then they should improve it.
Books are not locked, but copyright works for them. Digital media should not be locked either. If someone is caught copying and selling books for other than their own use, then they are fined or prosecuted. In order to mass distribute digital media, you have to provide your presence to the world; therefore the people who grossly violate such copyrights can be found and prosecuted. There is no need for new copyright law.
The DMCA prevents speech regarding and documents about the technology used to protect copyrighted material; this is far too extreme a measure to enforce copyright. It limits our rights to discuss ideas. This is unacceptable.
It also limits the consumers control over their purchase. I should be able to make backups of my data, and I should be able to lend media to family or friends. This is not copyright violation - it is sharing. Public libraries exist on this principle and if you make new laws, such as the DMCA, public libraries would technically be illegal - unless you specified that they stood above such laws.
The root of the problem really lies in greed. Although making the initial
product may be expensive, digital copying allows a company or individual to
make vast profit margins because they don't have to produce anything
physically. Why should people have to pay prices comparable to physical
media for digital media online, that cost nothing to reproduce? The cost
must drop significantly for people to be willing to pay for such media. If
the price remains the same, then companies should accept that some people
violate copyright, and that they are making up the loss on the huge profit
margin for the copies they actual do sell. Then they can also sue those who
they find copying and distributing their media for profit.
Richard Anthony Hein
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