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Hello, I am writing to you in the hopes that the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act can be amended during this period of review to enshrine the right of gamers to make backups of their physical video game library. Many older cartridge and disc-based games are rapidly becoming valuable collectors items that are no longer affordable to replace. Furthermore, many of these games are stored on rapidly aging physical storage media and playing these games on the consoles that they were originally designed for is becoming a hazardous activity that risks permanently damaging the ROMs or discs. Dumping ROMs or ISO files from the original media and storing in a more reliable digital format is a safe way to continue to have access to these aging games.
Canadian copyright law enshrines the rights for end-users to make personal backups of copyrighted work which has traditionally addressed the need discussed above. Unfortunately, with the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act, this right has been largely curtailed by the new rule prohibiting the circumvention of Technological Protection Measures (TPM). We have seen in recent court cases such as Nintendo of America Inc v. Go Cyber Shopping (2005) Ltd et al, 2017 FC 246, that the definition of TPMs are being interpreted extremely liberally by courts to the point where the physical shape of a video game cartridge is considered to be valid TPM. This would then mean that even a 35 year old game cartridge that had no digital encryption whatsoever would still be considered to have TPM by the merit of the cartridge's physical shape, alone. In my view, this liberal interpretation of TPM by the courts makes it virtually impossible for a gamer to licitly make a personal backup of their aging video game library which can legally render many older titles unplayable due to the risk of damage and the prohibitive cost of replacement.
I believe that gamers should have a right to have secure and reliable access to the aging video games that they physically own and the Copyright Modernization Act, in its current form, is unjustly obstructing this right. I am asking you to reduce the hindrance placed on a user's right to create personal backups or format-shifting by softening the TPM clause and provide more recognition for the user's right to have reliable access to their legitimately owned copyrighted material.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this,
St. Albert, AB