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Please Sign the Petition on Bill C11

The Federal Liberals have started an online petition regarding Bill C11. The recommendation promoted by the petition matches one of the recommendations the AEBC made in its presentation to the committee considering Bill C11 on February 27.

Here is the link to the petition, which I found very easy to fill out: https://petition.liberal.ca/user-rights-trump-digital-locks/.

And here is the related recommendation from the AEBC presentation to the committee.

Recommendation 1: Technological Protection Measures

While we support the exemption in Section 41.16 of Bill C11 that permits the circumvention of Technological Protection Measures for the purpose of producing alternative format versions of copyrighted works, this right, for all practical intents and purposes, will not be one that the average blind Canadian can exercise.

Breaking the digital lock on copyrighted works is almost certain to be beyond the means of the average blind Canadian. Not only is some level of technical expertise required, which many will not possess, there is no guarantee that the circumvention tools will be accessible even to the most tech savvy of blind Canadians.

Moreover, circumventing TPMs places a significant burden on those organizations that produce alternative formats for the benefit of blind Canadians. These organizations will have to hire and maintain staff with the technical expertise to break the digital locks.

Despite that Section 41.16, sub section 2, of Bill C11 also provides an exemption to those offering services or manufacturing products for the purpose of circumventing TPMs in order to produce alternative formats, the exemption is permitted only to the extent that these services or circumvention tools do not "unduly impair the technological protection measure". It is not clear what exactly it would mean not to "unduly impair" a TPM, and this ambiguity is very concerning.

Given the general restrictions on circumventing TPMs, it is unlikely that the necessary tools will be widely available and readily accessible to blind Canadians and the organizations working on their behalf. The AEBC recommends, along with thousands of other Canadians and organizations that make up Canadian society, that the restrictions on circumventing TPMs be tied to actions that would otherwise be violations of copyright. Not only is this balance better for Canadian society in general, but it is the best way to ensure that blind Canadians have access to the tools that are necessary for them to access copyrighted works that they have a legal right to access. Without this change, the right of blind Canadians to circumvent TPMs to produce alternative formats will almost certainly be a right that few of us can exercise.

Finally, here is a link to the entire AEBC presentation to the committee: http://www.blindcanadians.ca/publications/briefs/2012-presentation-bill-c11.

I encourage everyone to take just a minute to sign the petition and to encourage others to sign it as well.

Disclaimer:

This blog is curated by the AEBC, but welcomes contributions from members and non-members alike. The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and partners.

Comments

I agree with you both. Unfortunately, the Conservative members of the committee decided to block several proposed amendments that would have benefitted people with perceptual disabilities. You can find more details in a blog post I wrote yesterday.

My cousin is going blind, I want her life to be as easy as it can possibly be.

Industry concerns should never trump the needs for people with print disabilities to have access.

ZZ - Disregard this link; it is used to trick spammers.