Home > C11, Copyright, Digital Policy > SME’s To See At Least a 75% Increase in IT on Copyright

SME’s To See At Least a 75% Increase in IT on Copyright

Canadian small to medium sized enterprises [SME] may be on tabs for a substantial increase in IT overhead costs due to the governments new digital lock rules in the new copyright bill.  The bill takes away many fair dealing provisions on software or hardware that may have a digital lock on them.  I’m working on a podcast to try to get the proponents of the digital locks (Entertainment Software Association of Canada, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce) on record to some very tough questions.  Both the ESAC, and the Chamber so far have actively refused to comment on how much the digital locks will cost SME’s and consumers.  In a recent e-mail I wrote to the main IP policy guy for the Chambers (Chris Grey) I wrote:

 Mr. Grey,

I apologize, I wasn’t completely clear on the added business expense the digital lock provisions may have. I’m worried (as many businesses are) with the interoperability between new and existing tech.

With the digital lock provisions a new market will be enviably exploited where businesses will have to cough up more money so that software/hardware they purchase from a vendor will be “allowed” to be compatible with new and existing systems, where these existing systems currently can be made compatible through custom coded applications. Many businesses may have already broken digital locks to ensure compatibility with existing IT infrastructure.  That leaves some businesses at risk of being held financially liable with these new provisions.

Overall the governments new digital lock provisions will allow software/hardware vendors to dictate to the business community how their systems will be interoperable, and may drive up the price for a license or permission needed to break a digital lock or purchase an API to make a certain piece of software or hardware purchased compatible with existing and new tech, or even refuse that interoperability at any time or all together.

Small to medium sized businesses are the main purchasers of vendor enterprise based systems. Most vendor software small to medium sized businesses purchase have DRM.  Most software sold does not identify that DRM has been installed at point of sale, so many businesses may not even know they have broken any rules.

I’m looking forward to our chat and your response to this.

I estimate the costs for SME’s at around 75% – 100% increase on IT overhead due to this provision.  I have received no response back from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce yet on this.  I will keep everyone informed if and when I get a response to this.

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