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Lack of DRM disclosure may violate Canadian law

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Sep 2007 8:40 User comments (11)

Lack of DRM disclosure may violate Canadian law A study from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the Universite of Ottawa claims that DRM on various products, ranging from downloaded MP3s to productivity and security software violates Canadian law because users aren't adequately notified of how personal information is collected and used. It also indicates that Canadian law requires that consumers be allowed to opt of the collection and use of personal details.
"The privacy concerns with DRM are substantiated by what we saw," David Fewer, staff counsel with CIPPIC and the study's lead investigator, said. "In the Canadian marketplace we've found that there is simply widespread noncompliance of PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)." Of particular concern to study authors was the failure of companies to indicate that personal details were being collected for DRM purposes in their privacy policies.

Christopher Levy, CEO of DRM solutions provider BuyDRM, doesn't agree with many of the conclusions of the report. "The focus of the DRM system is to encrypt a piece of media, manage the licence key, profile to that licence, and deliver it -- that's it," Levy said. "It's unfortunate that consumers have been misled by a lot of vocal critics because the truth is DRM is no more evil than the lock and key that's on your door, the alarm on your car, or the authentication system in your cell phone."

However, the lock on your door probably can't be used to distribute your address to other parties. Regardless of the legality of DRM measures which require consumers to provide vendors with personal information, there's no question a company could, if allowed by product licensing and the law, use customer information for purposes other than preventing piracy.

While this study may be presenting a view of DRM technology starting from an anti-business perspective, that doesn't mean the concerns raised aren't legitimate, although they may be somewhat exxagerated with regard to current industry practices.

Source: PC World

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11 user comments

123.9.2007 8:48

so then the pro drm lobby will set about changing Canadian law next week.

but i did read a story of a law in the US that would protect any software company from litigation from rootkit and drm based failures of any hardware and make it illegal to expose them. i will post asap unless someone else remembers the story and location?

223.9.2007 12:04

Huh, I wonder if this also somehow applies in the US.

323.9.2007 13:31

i doubt it

423.9.2007 13:40

Makes the three hour boat ride from Seattle to Victoria more tempting...
I'm seriously contemplating a move. :P

523.9.2007 18:00

Originally posted by nintenut:
Makes the three hour boat ride from Seattle to Victoria more tempting...
I'm seriously contemplating a move. :P
Ya, but would you seriously? I mean, lots of people say they are going to leave the country if some specific thing happens or doesn't happen but how many actually do?

623.9.2007 18:15

Yes, actually. My aunt owns an apartment building near the dock that the Victoria Clipper... Docks.

723.9.2007 23:06

Well ok then.

824.9.2007 8:50

Down with DRM in any fashion. In any country. It stops us (the consumer) from making a backup of what we rightfully, and legally own. And anyone with children will tell you,.." How many times have you bought the SAME DVD (or game) because your kids killed the disc ? "... and that shouldn't happen.

928.9.2007 17:13

I love Canadian law it seems to make the most sense and that it does seem too look out for its people.

1030.9.2007 15:50

DRM is blocking a system I use for only OTA PBS broadcasts. How arrogant and highhanded! I cannot reliably stop it. So I figure I'm entitled to whatever means i can contrive, foul or fair, to circumvent DRM. And it isn't hard to do. Simple logic dictates that it is impossible for a DRM system to prevail against a determined person: eventually it must make a 'aye or nay' decision and all that is required is to change that decision point.

Beyond that, I figure I'm entitled to sue for damages and penalties. Just as the DRM companies are right now suing individuals who they claim have illegally viewed their programs.

And I'm just as empowered to sue for extravagant recoveries, just as the corporations do.

111.10.2007 10:35

Originally posted by borhan9:
I love Canadian law it seems to make the most sense and that it does seem too look out for its people.
Those socialists eh, they are as bad as communists and only want to destroy Americas way of life you know! next there will be open propaganda to destroy the French and their socialist views!

btw how does BD+ stand in Canada with the phone home usage data, ip ect?

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