Becoming a Criminal in the 21st Century - Canadian Copywrite Reform

It's a big deal. The Canadian Copywrite Reform Act [if it becomes law], is going to change the way we live, the way we share and the way we enjoy media.

From Michael Geist, there's a beautiful synopsis: The Canadian public get's analog rights, the Copywrite Lobby get's digital rights. You can copy a piece of video media that you *OWN* onto a videocassette, but not a DVD.
~~~~When was the last time you had a videocassette? I haven't owned a VCR for over 5 years.

The most interesting new criminality is the PVR. If you've got a PVR, chances are you actually got it from your TV provider, you are renting or have purchased it, with the explicit permission from the provider to be able to use it to record entertainment to watch at a later date. Poof. This activity, along with time-shifting is going to become a criminal activity.

Let's just put aside the fact that this is a service provided by your cable/satellite provider. How about the financial implications of the Canadian government on said cable/satellite providers? I pay a whopping $20/month for my HD PVR. That's $240/year from just little old me. Imagine the thousands of people who are in the same boat. That revenue stream could simply disappear from the service provider's coffers with a government signature. Why is it that we aren't hearing the screams of the major service providers about this component of the copywrite bill? Are they engaged in their own lobbying? Do they have a plan?

I've got a feeling that they *do* have a plan, and something just as insidious as the Canadian Copywrite Reform. Something that takes the content out of the customer's domain and puts it back in the service provider's realm. My gut says that the TV service providers are going to offer a similar type service, but instead of downloading movies/shows to your PVR, you program the scheduling, and the shows are actually stored to disk on the service provider's premise, and when you want to view the recorded media, you get to *stream* the content down to your TV, but never actually have possession of the media. It's going to be part of the push to make network infrastructures smarter, and put the control of content tightly in the hands of the broadcasters. Think TMN on Demand, a neat service provided by Rogers. Instead of waiting for the appropriate time for a movie to be aired, you can select to watch a TMN movie whenever you want. No waiting, no schedule. Bam, it's there when you want. Rogers also offers the same service for their PPV movies, no schedule, instant watch-ability. With these services, I couldn't *save* the movie to my PVR, I could only watch it in real time. Sneaky. Good and sneaky, but you can see that the wheels are already spinning....

We are all going to be criminals.
I've got to get my tattoo figured out. And a really tough nickname.












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