Fixing Digital Locks

The Canadian Repair Coalition and Innovative Deviance Lab are pleased to present:

Fixing Digital Locks: Featuring Tarek Loubani, Kyle Wiens, Michael Geist, Alissa Centivany & Anthony Rosborough
2 September 2021, 6PM

Registration is Free:

Manufacturers increasingly use “digital locks” – bits of code embedded in our devices, appliances, vehicles, and other belongings – to protect their intellectual property, but these locks make it difficult or impossible to engage in repair work. Digital locks can be as simple as a password or encryption that prevents troubleshooting or diagnosing the problem, to more sophisticated co-activation systems that prevent replacement parts from working without “activating” them using special tools or codes held only by the manufacturer.

Canada’s protection for digital locks and other “technological protection measures” came about through the 2012 amendments to the Copyright Act. Originally intended to protect music or creative works stored on digital media, these protections have since expanded beyond the creative industries, infiltrating a wide range of ubiquitous everyday consumer goods as well as devices and equipment in critical sectors like agriculture, defense, health care and more. How ought we balance manufacturers’ interest in protecting their IP with the public’s interest in being able to use, and fix, the things we own? Looking to these challenges, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (“ISED”) has announced an open consultation on Canada’s protection for digital locks.

The goal of Fixing Digital Locks is to hear from you, consumers, fixers and, advocates, on your experiences with digital locks. We want to know how they impact what you do, whether that is fixing your own device, running your business or repairing crucial medical equipment in a hospital. We, the Canadian Repair Coalition and the Innovative Deviance Lab, are co-hosting this town hall to hear from you so that, together, we can better advocate for strong repair rights in Canada.