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Canada Nintendo The Courts Technology

Canadian DMCA In Action: Court Awards Massive Damages In Modchip Case (michaelgeist.ca) 65

New submitter google20000 shares a report from Michael Geist: The Federal Court of Canada has issued a massive damage award in the first major Canadian digital lock copyright ruling involving circumvention of technological protection measures. The ruling, which is the first to conduct an extensive examination of the anti-circumvention rules established in 2012, adopts expansive interpretations to the digital lock protections and narrow views of the exceptions. The case launched by Nintendo confirms that Canada has tough anti-piracy laws with one of the most aggressive digital lock laws in the world and will fuel calls to re-examine the effectiveness of the anti-circumvention exceptions in the 2017 copyright review. The case stems from a lawsuit launched by video game maker Nintendo against Go Cyber Shopping, a modchip seller that operated a retail store in Waterloo, Ontario and several online stores. Go Cyber Shopping offered a wide range of products that allow users to circumvent the digital lock controls on the Nintendo gaming console (such as the Wii) and play unauthorized games including "homebrew" games. Go Cyber Shopping argued that it provided other services but the court says that it did not tender any evidence in that regard. The court concluded that the modchip seller engaged in copyright infringement and circumvented technological protection measures. In fact, it went out of its way to emphasize the importance of TPM protection. It adopted a broad interpretation of a technological protection measure -- rejecting a UK case that used a narrower interpretation -- in favor of an approach that covers access controls that go beyond restrictions on copying.
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Canadian DMCA In Action: Court Awards Massive Damages In Modchip Case

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  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Friday March 03, 2017 @07:00PM (#53972683)

    Run for Parliment, get law overturned. [One of the reasons] I moved to Canada to escape the DMCA laws in the US. We need legislators who take a hard line "No DMCA" eveywhere we can fight them, the TPM measures here could be used to lock us out from booting Linux on our new PCs in the future. We need a Pirate Party that isn't actually called the Pirate Party to fight hard and declare war on the copyright cartels, and Trusted computing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I am glad my president nuked TPP from orbit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Run for Parliment, get law overturned.

      1) Quit your job to go do a profession you may hate
      2) Take years to get the reputation and proficiency you need to get elected for Partliament.
      3) Maybe get law overturned???
      4) Profit!

      Sounds like a plan, I'm in.

    • I moved to Canada to escape the DMCA laws in the US.

      I have some bad news for you. [slashdot.org]

    • Well then, how about one called The Pirate-Ninja-Zombie Party? www.facebook.com/groups/545267922328106/ Though on a more serious note, I did put more thought into it thsn that, but couldn't determine if there might be someone who wouldn't mind creating a Democratic-Republican-Whig psrtu Facebook group with me. If someone is interested, they can contact me at https://www.facebook.com/hackw... [facebook.com] or go it alone.
      • I've been thinking of setting up a Nazi party, because people sometimes call me a nazi due to my attention to detail and willingness to maintain order and sense. The party would have nothing to do with national socialists, right wing extremists etc. as it would be all about logic and reason. We would base our decisions on science rather than semi-religious feelgood arguments, which seem to be common in politics.
    • Canada uses first past the post [wikipedia.org] voting, which makes it very difficult to set a new party up. If you try, you end up splitting the vote with whichever of the two main parties most closely aligns with you, which leads to the other main party being more likely to win -- as a result most people won't vote for you, even when they support you more than either of the two leading parties.

      "Set up a new party" would be rather a lot viable if that was fixed... but good lucking getting FPTP replaced by anything else.

      • by alexo ( 9335 )

        There was an attempt to introduce a "mixed member proportional" voting system in Ontario.
        A referendum was held in 2007. The attempt flopped.
        See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        I would offer that Canada's last two majority governments (Harper's and Justin Trudeau's) were effectively a 1-man dictatorships, with the prime minister able to pass or block any law he wishes due to his control of the party that controls the parliament.

    • First we can name and shame all those who voted that law, and to a lesser extent those who voted for these MPs. And I am talking about every conservative or liberal MP.

    • The Copyright Industry ("*AA. * Software Association) has a very effective weapon, called the USTR. They also set up local affiliates. Politicians are constantly being, on the one side, being treated to "campaign donations", free "VIP packages" (free tickets, meet & greets, etc.), this is more or less Pay-to-Play. On the other hand they are also being told how bad it all is for the poor starving artists, and how gazillion-billions of (taxable!) revenue are being "lost". Law Professor Michael Geist had a
    • "I moved to Canada to escape the DMCA laws in the US"

      So, how's that working out for you?

  • Now my country is going down the tubes too. Corporatocracy wins again. Bastards.

  • From the featured article:

    Of considerable concern is the court’s conclusion that the availability of a Nintendo-approved interoperability approach would be enough to eliminate the availability of the anti-circumvention interoperability exception. The court stated: "the Applicant’s evidence establishes that there are legitimate paths for developers to develop software on its consoles without circumventing the Applicant’s TPMs. There is no need for any TPM circumvention to achieve interoperability"

    Nintendo's policy during the Wii's commercial lifetime was that only a company with "relevant video game industry experience" and a dedicated office detached from any residence had such "legitimate paths". This came to a head in 2009 when Nintendo's denial of a devkit to a home-based video game studio run by programmer Robert Pelloni [wikipedia.org] made the news.

    (Nintendo has since substantially loosened this policy, and Pelloni has since admitted that he should have released it on PC first.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    That PDF is a piece of work... From what I can tell the total award is $12,700,00? Anyone know what they mean by "work" here?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Oops. Missed the $60K for the Header Data "works". That would be a total of $12,760,000.00
    • That PDF is a piece of work... From what I can tell the total award is $12,700,00? Anyone know what they mean by "work" here?

      Slashdot say "Court Awards Massive Damages" and then completely fails to say what was awarded. Careful there, AC. I think this might be part of slashdot's "RTFA DRM", and your post may be considered circumvention measures.

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Friday March 03, 2017 @07:38PM (#53972887)
    What we have here is where Nintendo (and the dumbasses who signed this idiocy into law) are claiming that Nintendo's temporary monopoly on its idea is somehow so important that it usurps the owner of the computer's right to modify his own property. I dunno about how Canadians feel about it, but for those of us south of the 49th parallel, our justification of government was based in part on John Locke's principle of "life, liberty and property" (which got changed to "pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence, but it still counts!). The right to own property is inalienable, but this copyright run amok turns that principle on its head in some kind of bizarro-world feudal dystopia. That tyranny must not stand!
    • Agreed. And, I believe my fellow Canadians who are aware of this law agree for the mostpart as well.

      We have a Liberal government at the moment, and they may be amenable to fixing the law. I've already written my MP about it, and hope others will as well.

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      While we don't feel quite as strongly about property rights as Americans, it is still bloody important. Really the problem with this law and that it was argued in the Federal Court is the fact that Section 92(13) of the Constitutional Act, 1867 gives "13. Property and Civil Rights in the Province." so why the hell did the Federal government pass this law. It's seems not to be criminal,which is enforced by the Provinces anyways, might be covered under the commerce clause, which is different and weaker then t

  • Are games really worth all the legal bullshit? I think they're not. I'm also beginning to think no software is worth it if you have to agree to sign your rights away. If I buy a hammer at the store I don't have to sign any god damn EULA, so why should I have to if I buy a drawing program, or video editing software? Do I sign a EULA when I buy a pack of playing cards? What about Monopoly? Must I sign my rights away in order to play it? Only if it's digital!
    • I found that Steam prevents me from losing games from things like physical media going bad or being stolen and makes it much easier to install games on new machines, and this is enough to tolerate their little DRM game.
  • All those tractor manufacturers are going to use this to stop farmers repairing their own machines and will jack up the prices for repair jobs. That will be the start, next: cars, mobile 'phones, washing machines, ... anything with a CPU in it that runs code that can be 'protected' by XORing bytes with 0xFF.

    • by davecb ( 6526 )

      The specific case was affected by the company being able to make a claim about "stolen games", by which they meant copyright breaches, and that gave them an excuse to claim copying, invoke the DMCA and argue the anti-circumvention clause.

      Cases in the US have narrowed the law to eliminate schemes such as DMCAing print cartriges, and we just ameded the "Combines Investigation Act" to cover similar cases: see Exclusive Dealing and Tied Selling under the Amended Combines Investigation Act [yorku.ca]

      This case tries to nar

  • Shameful ruling on a shameful law. :(

    I, as a Canadian, will write my MP, and I encourage others to do the same.

  • The problem isn't the mod chip per-se. If you read the ruling [ippractice.ca] it shows that they were providing instructions for how to modify the headers of dumped ROMs so that they could play them. They basically were selling the chip as a way to clone games. What we have seen in the US courts is that, if you provide a service that permits copyright infringement, you have to show that you were actively policing the system to prevent that from happening. But if you basically sell something as "Hey look here, you can d

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      It seems like there is really nothing special about a Wii that makes it a good target for homebrew development.

      I asked a similar question [slashdot.org]. Let me summarize the reply I got and other articles I've written about the topic (1 [pineight.com] 2 [pineight.com] 3 [pineight.com]). In no particular order:

      1. Wii had SDTV out and PC didn't, which was important in the mid-2000s when the largest monitor in a home was likely to be standard definition.
      2. Wii is smaller and quieter than a typical tower PC.
      3. Wii plus the Super Smash Bros. Brawl disc and SD card to launch Smash Stack was cheaper than a typical PC.
      4. The pointing device bundled with a Wii could be used from a c

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