DRM Roll Please: Is Digital Rights Management Legislation Unconstitutional in Canada?
Journal of Information Law & Technology (JILT), Vol. 2, 2009
22 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2010 Last revised: 13 May 2014
Date Written: July 1, 2009
The authors argue that the Digital Rights Management (DRM) provisions of Bill C-61 - Canada’s latest attempt at implementing its obligations under the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, inter alia - is ultra vires of Parliament’s enumerated powers, and unconstitutionally intrudes into the Provincial legislative sphere. The DRM provisions of Bill C-61 represent a poorly veiled attempt by the Government to strengthen the contractual rights available to copyright owners, in the guise of copyright reform and the implementation of Canada’s international obligations. Future iterations of Bill C-61 that do not take the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (and the overall scheme of the Act) into account would also likely fail constitutional scrutiny.
Keywords: constitutionality, copyright, DRM, digital rights, management, canada, reform, Geist, DMCA, C61, C60, C32, C11, Sookman
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