new copyright act now online – updated

Update: For anyone out there who: (a) pored over the previous incarnation of this bill (i.e. Bill C-61) back in 2008; (b) doesn’t happen to have redlining software; and (c) just wants to review what has changed between C-61 and C-32, here are redlines showing the changes from C-61 to C-32 (Word and PDF). Happy reading.

The much anticipated Copyright Modernization Act (or Bill C-32) was tabled yesterday and is now on-line and available for your reading pleasure. Given the broad interest in this act, it’s not surprising that there has already been a ton of press on it, including summaries and analyses galore.  I don’t propose to reinvent the wheel, so will simply point to you a post in Michael Geist’s blog where he provides a summary and various links to media coverage of the bill (which also have their own summaries) plus of course his own take on it.

My initial impression is that the bill strikes a relatively good balance between content creators and content users. Of course, given the highly politicized nature of copyright reform, and the sometimes fairly extreme views taken in various camps, it won’t make everyone happy. From the perspective of Geist et al. on the user side, the biggest criticism so far has been how digital locks (or “TPMs”) are dealt with. The short version is that TPMs are permitted even if they prevent users from exercising specific rights that are deemed by the Copyright Act not to constitute copyright infringement.

I have my own views on TPMs but will reserve that for another post.