The Needles: Goodbye, Mr. (Mod)Chips

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danpascooch:
Actually, I'm not talking about whether I believe piracy is alright or whether it's wrong, I'm simply wondering if the Escapist staff all happen to be heavily against it coincidentally, or if they're told they have to be for PR purposes.

There's no policy that I've ever heard of. I think you'll find that Escapist writers are generally against piracy because we've actually put quite a bit of thought into the matter.

But there's a difference between being against piracy and being for draconian, corporate-driven copyright laws. I want to see content creators paid for their work. I want to see large-scale infringers busted and punished. But I also want the rights of the individual consumer protected. This bill comes close to finding that happy middle ground, but not close enough.

Diligent:
If simply burning legally purchased music off itunes would be illegal, I'm curious to know how it would affect making and burning backups of your Steam games. Does anybody know?
I couldn't see it affecting something like that, but I'm just curious.

I dont think it's illegal as the steam software offers its own feature of backing up the games however unless it has been cracked it dont see any problems unlike other PC gamers like me who buy the physical products then back it up on our own local network via storage devices

squid5580:
I dunno. When you can walk down the street and see R4 chips in legit store windows with big signs "R4 chips sold here" we have a problem. This bill the way it is written now is not the solution. Though it is good to see them stepping up to do something.

Ahh, yes, because there's nothing you could legally use an R4 for, such as turning your DS into a mini-tablet or media player.

And PSP hacking? Solely for downloading and playing commercial games, it has nothing to do with improving the web browsing, recording in-game footage, using VoIP, or playback of more than the small handful of supported media formats and sizes.

Andy Chalk:

danpascooch:
Actually, I'm not talking about whether I believe piracy is alright or whether it's wrong, I'm simply wondering if the Escapist staff all happen to be heavily against it coincidentally, or if they're told they have to be for PR purposes.

There's no policy that I've ever heard of. I think you'll find that Escapist writers are generally against piracy because we've actually put quite a bit of thought into the matter.

But there's a difference between being against piracy and being for draconian, corporate-driven copyright laws. I want to see content creators paid for their work. I want to see large-scale infringers busted and punished. But I also want the rights of the individual consumer protected. This bill comes close to finding that happy middle ground, but not close enough.

No bill which ever criminalizes duplication of any kind, save that which directly causes harm, is acceptable. Just like no law prohibiting any form of speech save that which directly incites violence is acceptable. In both cases, the burden of proof is on the accuser.

mad825:

Diligent:
If simply burning legally purchased music off itunes would be illegal, I'm curious to know how it would affect making and burning backups of your Steam games. Does anybody know?
I couldn't see it affecting something like that, but I'm just curious.

I dont think it's illegal as the steam software offers its own feature of backing up the games however unless it has been cracked it dont see any problems unlike other PC gamers like me who buy the physical products then back it up on our own local network via storage devices

If it would become illegal to burn copies of purchased music from iTunes, I see no reason that it would not also apply to every other digital distribution system.

Backing up,trnascodeing and copy protection circumvention is a right our liberties grant us...its a shame fascism is growing more popular by the day.....

JRCB:
Good read, and this is very bad. You're not even allowed to burn CDs from iTunes? What the hell is that button for, then? This is bloody stupid, and I hope it fails.

Burning a CD from iTunes shouldn't be a problem. Apple applied the iTunes plus program to pretty much the entire collection... which means they are DRM free. Burn away.

Andy Chalk:

danpascooch:
Actually, I'm not talking about whether I believe piracy is alright or whether it's wrong, I'm simply wondering if the Escapist staff all happen to be heavily against it coincidentally, or if they're told they have to be for PR purposes.

There's no policy that I've ever heard of. I think you'll find that Escapist writers are generally against piracy because we've actually put quite a bit of thought into the matter.

But there's a difference between being against piracy and being for draconian, corporate-driven copyright laws. I want to see content creators paid for their work. I want to see large-scale infringers busted and punished. But I also want the rights of the individual consumer protected. This bill comes close to finding that happy middle ground, but not close enough.

I hope your not inferring that anyone who puts a lot of thought into it will share that opinion, that said, of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and I appreciate you answering my question. Nice article as always.

Good read, well except the first paragraph. Sorta sucks how DRM is going to royally screw you guys over even more then it is now.

Keava:
It is sadly the result of people without any qualification or knowledge on the subject making laws based on their own, outdated assumptions, simple ignorance and/or whispers from the corporations that have interest in forcing certain solutions.

This happens for pretty much every government descsion everywhere.

I'm not Canadian but it seems that this bill is just a little bit ridiculous. What is wrong with the current Canadian copyright laws anyway?

Two huge problems with this law as it stands that will ultimately cause it to work against it's self. First and foremost the more you tell most people not to do something the more they are going to want to do it. Sure, you might get a few people listening and walking the straight and narrow but most people will want to do it out of curiosity or spite.

The second and possibly larger problem is this law is almost entirely impossible to enforce. Hell they may as well outlaw eating breathing and shitting while they are at it. They would have just as much success in actually preventing any of the three of those things as they will this. I guess it looks good on paper though.

Oh yes..making mod chips illegal will completely prevent anyone from obtaining them, just like since drugs were prohibited they have become totally impossible to get.

Keepitclean:

Keava:
It is sadly the result of people without any qualification or knowledge on the subject making laws based on their own, outdated assumptions, simple ignorance and/or whispers from the corporations that have interest in forcing certain solutions.

This happens for pretty much every government descsion everywhere.

I'm not Canadian but it seems that this bill is just a little bit ridiculous. What is wrong with the current Canadian copyright laws anyway?

They're terrible. This bill is an improvement, honestly, but then it fucks itself up.

(did you know that under canadain fair dealing law, parody use of copyrighted material is not currently protected from copyright infringement claims?)

-m

Screw(I would say fuck, but I'm not sure if that would land me in hot water with the mods) Harper and anyone that was stupid enough to vote for that right wing party he belongs to. Harper is the worst thing to happen to our great nation since Mulroney.

You can imagine how worked up I can get living in Alberta. My riding was the ONLY one not to vote Conservative(we voted in the right woman for the job too, Linda Duncan is a great MP). I hate this place.

Thanks as always for crack reporting Andy. I am not Canadian, but I appreciate what you do.

What the fuck is happening to the world? They would really throw people in jail and fine them with enormous amount of money just for making their own copies of stuff they legally own? If they go through with this there should be a riot. People rally can't let this one slide. I would be pissed off if I was Canadian. Just hearing about this makes me angry. I understand that capitalism is about making as much money as you can, but there should be a line somewhere that forbids you to fuck with people like this. Didn't they consider the probability that people will just stop buying stuff in the first place? When you buy something you should have the right to do with your stuff whatever the fuck you want. You just can't fuck with customers like this. What happened to the right of ownership?

I hate my government

By comparison this is a Tie Fighter next to the UKs Digital Economy Bills fleet of a billion Death Stars. Still a nasty thing to be running about but I'm rather pre-occupied on this front.

I would love to see them enforce this law. Like really enforce it. Its gonna turn out to be a 'parking ticket' kind of law, get a small fine and you go on with your life. Cause they can't in their right mind imprison everyone who does it.

As your tweet said, I have to agree. Probably one of your best (also remaining very fair and unbiased) articles on a subject that seriously needs a good hard look. Keep up the good work!

Piracy is a term that I feel gets used and abused wayyy too broadly sometimes. So it's not a problem for me if a body of law wants to define it either - heck, it has to and I've come to expect it to do as such (even if different bodies of law define it differently). But it is a problem for me when the term 'piracy' is slapped onto every single last freaking thing that even so much as looks like stealing.

And as for the Escapist's 'policy' on piracy...well. I'd rather not comment on it all myself, suffice it to say that putting a lot of thought into something is one thing. But the undertones behind what the person doing the thinking does for a living tend to be a bit more important than the thinking itself. If one meets with industry people regularly, as well as the people, who depend on sound copyright laws to get them their money, then of course they are bound to have an undertone against the concept of piracy. Just as someone who isn't in that sort of business and who can come up with a working alternative to it, will have an undertone for the concept.

There is no neutrality or unbiased opinion when it comes to piracy in the end I think. No matter how much thought you put either for or against it. Which is why, as said, it's nice to at least come across an article that does its best to avoid that cyclical argument, as Penny Arcade put it very well in one of their comics, and instead focuses moreso on the practical effects of copyright laws. Really, it's what for me makes good journalism. To focus a bit moreso on the causality behind things rather than their philosophical or conceptual validity.

Xanthious:
The second and possibly larger problem is this law is almost entirely impossible to enforce.

It is just about impossible to enforce, yes, until they decide to enforce it. And then one day, somebody turns up a little political heat, the police do a little digging and suddenly a few people are having their property confiscated and being slapped with big fines. Probably won't be you, but it could be.

And as noted, it's not just individuals making copies of their music who are at risk. Do you use an OS that doesn't have a licence to play protected media? (Which is to say, pretty much anything but Windows?) You might find yourself in contravention of the law, or you might just find it harder to play your shit because the software that allows you to do so is in contravention of the law and is thus harder to get. Modchips will still be available from somewhere, sure, and you'll be able to get them as long as you don't mind importing them from Macau and they don't get seized by Customs.

The fact is that this bill seeks to criminalize non-criminal behaviour and, even more odiously, it tells Canadians that their rights are dependent upon the whims of massive corporations. That the legality of their actions is ruled not by law, but by the desires of big business.

How do you feel about that? Because I'm pretty goddamn unhappy about it.

In this article the writer states,
You cannot legally make a backup copy, you cannot burn the music you purchased from iTunes onto a disc to listen to in your car and you cannot make a recording of a broadcast to watch later
However, my interpretation of both our current copyright law as well as the proposed changes in this bill lead me to believe that this isn't true.

s. 29.24, of the proposed changes does indeed lend creedence to the author's argument in this case, however, it comes after s. 29.22 "Reproduction for Private Purposes" and s. 29.23 "Fixing Signals and Recording Programs for Later Listening or Viewing"

29.22 states more or less the same thing as 29.24, with the exception of subsection (3) which states that in the case of a musical recording, subsection (1), which has the same DRM protecting clause that the author pointed out in S. 29.24, does not apply if copied onto an audio recording medium as outlined in s. 79 of the copyright act. This means that in the case of music recordings, we fall back on the laws set in s. 80 "Copying for private use"

As for recording of a broadcast, s. 29.23 is again more or less the same as 29.24. However, along with the fact there there is unlikely to be DRM protecting a Broadcast, subsection (2) states that (1) does not apply to an on-demand service. This means that recording a TV or radio broadcast is legal as it is DRM free, and that making a copy of an internet broadcast would be legal because I believe it could be considered on-demand as outlined by subsection (3). Again the laws fall back on s. 80. All of this is of course on the condition that it is purely for personal use.

Backup of things like programs, movies and games though is still covered by s. 29.24, leaving us with DRM problems in those cases.

*double post*

Well, until Ignatieff finally stops sitting on his fucking hands and defeats this moron government, we'll still have stupid bills like this.

Seriously, fuck you, Harper!

Eukaryote:
You can imagine how worked up I can get living in Alberta. My riding was the ONLY one not to vote Conservative(we voted in the right woman for the job too, Linda Duncan is a great MP). I hate this place.

Ah yes, the little orange island in the blue sea of Alberta...I lol'd when I saw that on election night... :P

Soviet Heavy:

Oh for fucks sakes, again!? I say we just nuke the bastards from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

I'm going to have to object to that on the grounds that I prefer my nuclear explosions to be considerably more than 10 kilometers from my house.

Resistance Is Futile.
For we are Legion.

SachielOne:

Soviet Heavy:

Oh for fucks sakes, again!? I say we just nuke the bastards from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

I'm going to have to object to that on the grounds that I prefer my nuclear explosions to be considerably more than 10 kilometers from my house.

Eh, I suppose, its only about sixty kilometers from my place.
How 'bout we just send them into North Korean Airspace in an unauthorized jetliner?

Starkiller8965:
How can they enforce this law?

That's a good question. They'd either have to have some sort of government watch-dog program running on every computer, or force the ISP's to turn against their customers and monitor everything we download.

GeekOfAllTrades:
This means that in the case of music recordings, we fall back on the laws set in s. 80 "Copying for private use"

That's an interesting slant, but it could butt up against two limitations. One, the definition of "sound recording" in this day and age is nebulous at best, and two, you're assuming that content creators, publishers, broadcasters, etc., don't come up with some way to implement some form of DRM in conventional broadcasts. The definition of "on-demand" is also a potentially dicey issue.

Like all good Canadian laws, this one won't necessarily mean much until it's been dragged through the courts. And if your assumptions are correct, that's great, although hardly a game-changer. But I don't think I want the future of copyright in Canada to have to rely on friendly court decisions.

Andy Chalk:
you're assuming that content creators, publishers, broadcasters, etc., don't come up with some way to implement some form of DRM in conventional broadcasts.

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection

Sasktel recently told all it's "Max HD" customers that it will soon be required by broadcasters to turn on HDCP, and if you are using older equipment that doesn't support HDCP, you must use component cables instead of HDMI in order to continue watching.

There's also the US's "broadcast flag". I bet broadcasters would claim that this qualifies as "DRM"...

Matt_LRR:

Keepitclean:
This happens for pretty much every government descsion everywhere.

I'm not Canadian but it seems that this bill is just a little bit ridiculous. What is wrong with the current Canadian copyright laws anyway?

They're terrible. This bill is an improvement, honestly, but then it fucks itself up.

(did you know that under canadain fair dealing law, parody use of copyrighted material is not currently protected from copyright infringement claims?)

-m

Well Hell, you're talking about a country that curtails freedom of speech on free to air broadcasts. (God save the Canadian Content laws!)

And Canada's freedom of speech? Well, according the charter, here are the only things freedom of speech applies to: "A law will be found to restrict expression if it has the effect of frustrating "the pursuit of truth, participation in the community, or individual self-fulfillment and human flourishing"." (Ruling from Ramsden v. Peterborough. Stupid Peterborough.)

In Canada, it can be illegal to LIE.

In a recent speech, Heritage Minister James Moore, an ardent champion of the bill, called opponents "radical extremists" who "don't believe in copyright at all" and presumably seek to create some sort of intellectual property Wild West.

This is a Strawman Fallacy if I've ever seen one.

DRM is asinine enough as it is. I'd rather it not be given total president. I say circumventing these systems should be alright if it doesn't lead to copyright infringement, I.E. you have a legal copy and want to make backups of it or get around protection methods that, for whatever reason, stop you using the product when you should be able to use it.

Basically this tells me that if I want a copy of a song on my laptop, and I also want it on my iPod or desktop, then I have to purchase two copies?! And if you have kids, you have to buy individual copies of the Jonas Brothers songs for each child?!?! Craziness. Looks like I'll never see a current tv show again, seeing as though I usually record the shows I want and watch them when it's convenient. Sucks all the way around. Gonna have to contact my MP about this. Just hope the darn thing doesn't pass til they fix that line.

Rick1940:
Go ahead, Canada. Hamstring your technical industry.

The rest of the world will go to technology conferences in other countries - Singapore, maybe, or Hong Kong - and we will tell the venture capitalists:"Hey, whatever you do, *don't* start a tech company in Canada, the government wants to arrest anyone who understands computers."

Canada's loss is Asia's gain.

You forgot that the ACTA takes care of Asia. If both of these pass through, it's going to be a world of hurt in the tech industry. All for the sake of protecting a few key monopolies.

Great, one of the reasons I love my Country is disappearing! I guess I'll have to get used to spending more money now... :(

I think if I order a pizza, and they deliver it to me in a damn locked safe, and the safe is delivered as mine, as part of the order, I should have the right to blow that safe door open to get my pizza. I didn't ask for a safe around my pizza, Me and my friends just wanted dinner, and we're not going to buy a large each, we're going to share, and I guess we'll just have to watch the pizza industry fall around our ears as we do so.

Terrible analogy aside, aren't sales of just about everything still going up, despite us being in supposedly the worst worldwide recession since Ugg traded 3 pebbles for a small rock?

I think Mick Jagger said recently that it used to be that making music was just a job, like any other, from travelling minstrels up til the start of the 20th century, then around the 50s people started making real money, and maybe in 10 years the age of superstars will be over and it'll be back to people just making music as a job, not for fame and fortune, and that he considers himself lucky to have got in while the money was around. (I'm sure he said it in a much better and more succinct way than I did.)

You know what we'll lose from that happening? X Factor, American Idol, the Disney stars, etc.

Anyone with enough passion for music will carry on.

I do genuinely think despite there being a high rate of piracy, things will always sell, just the markets and the way things are sold will change.

Xanthious:
Two huge problems with this law as it stands that will ultimately cause it to work against it's self. First and foremost the more you tell most people not to do something the more they are going to want to do it. Sure, you might get a few people listening and walking the straight and narrow but most people will want to do it out of curiosity or spite.

The second and possibly larger problem is this law is almost entirely impossible to enforce. Hell they may as well outlaw eating breathing and shitting while they are at it. They would have just as much success in actually preventing any of the three of those things as they will this. I guess it looks good on paper though.

Not only is it impossible to enforce, it is guaranteed to stir up tensions between China and other Asian countries.

The Chinese government stands to lose a lot if they lose their skilled reverse engineers. Thus they might pretend to oppose reverse engineering, but in fact they're wedded to it.

Also, it looks like the Chinese government doesn't like ACTA anyway, if Wacky-pedia isn't totally wrong:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement

so Gindil's claim that ACTA will cover all of Asia seems suspect. Perhaps ACTA will cover Korea, Japan, and Singapore...

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