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.
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.
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.