Napster on Bill C-11

Canadian DMCA logo

The rest of the world calls it DRM (Digital Rights Management)

The Canadian government is partial to the term TPM (Technical Protection Measures).

Michael Geist has popularized and may even have coined the phrase digital locks to put a face on the concept, so that ordinary Canadian consumers without law degrees might better understand the copyright law — Bill C-11 — that will change the world on us.

No matter what you call them, these third party locks (what Russell McOrmond calls them) are bad enough for consumers all on their own. The most serious problem with Bill C-11 is that circumventing these things, no matter what you call them, will become illegal.

Even if circumventing them ~ breaking the lock ~ is to do something that is perfectly legal. Like watching the DVD you bought. Or listening to the music file you downloaded. Which is why Napster is shutting down Canadian operations — because of Bill C-11.

graphic cat with headphones beside text that reads Napster is the company Logo

These downloads are DRM-encoded WMA files and can be backed up by burning them to audio CDs. Doing this will allow you access to your music on any CD player and generally have a maintenance free permanent copy. If you do not back up your purchased Napster music downloads by burning them to CD and you later change or reinstall your computer’s operating system, have a system failure or experience DRM corruption, then the downloads will stop playing and you will permanently lose access to them.

Napster Canada Shutting Down – New Memberships and Subscriber Renewals Discontinued

In Canada, it is not illegal to circumvent a padlock. If I put a padlock on my shed, and it rusts out, it is perfectly legal to take bolt cutters and cut the lock off.

Because the defective padlock is preventing my legal right to access my own stuff.

It is not legal for me to do the same to my neighbor’s padlock. If I were to lop off his padlock to gain access to the contents of his shed, there are hosts of criminal charges that can be brought against me.

Bill C-11 will make it illegal for Canadians to access our own stuff.


2 thoughts on “Napster on Bill C-11

  1. Ah. You must have missed that part.

    Barry Sookman, a lobbyist for Music Canada aka the Canadian Recording Industry Association appears to have invented the term. My suspicion is that they wanted to avoid the negative implications of Digital Restrictions Management.

    I think we need to work on an alternative set of words for “TPM.”


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