6.03.2010

if i jimmy a door with a credit card is that a digital lockpick?

Yesterday afternoon the details dropped about a new Canadian copyright bill called C-32.  (Human readable summary here).  The loudest squaking you'll hear about this bill will no doubt be regarding the part that removes any rights you have to rip CD's or DVD's to your iPod or media center, or record TV on your DVR, or make personal backups of any media you've bought.  Under C-32 these rights all become null and void if that media is protected by a digital lock.

Basically if you have to crack encryption to do what you want with what you've paid for doing so will mean breaking the law.

Which I think sucks, but I'm no law guru so I won't comment beyond that, there are plenty of other smart folks out there tackling the pros and cons.  Go read up and decide for yourself if that's a good thing for Canadians.

My question is this: If you can't break a digital lock in order to do what you want with a product you have purchased, shouldn't manufacturers be required to clearly label these products as being "protected".

How am I to know what products I can legally use to my satisfaction if I don't find out that it's protected by a digital lock until I get home?  At that point I'm double screwed because businesses have known for years that digital locks don't mean diddly squat and have acted accordingly.

If only there were some universally recognizable logo, like the Explicit Lyrics warning label.  Wait a minute ... there IS a logo to warn about digital locks, and it's conveniently available in ready-to-be-printed-as-a-sticker format here!  I predict I will be invited to leave many a Best Buy this year ...


EDIT: As it turns out, the xxAA have beaten me to this brilliant evil plan, those bastards!  How can I twist my mustache while hatching plots now? Anyway the image they chose is slightly less wordy and looks like this. So keep your eye out for it and vote with your dollars!

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