About the CSIA

Note: A new website has been launched at softwareinnovation.ca. This is a historical page from 2006.

A Voice for Open Source

The CSIA is working to encourage innovation and competition in the software industry. Open source software should continue developing into a free, open and powerful standard useful to programmers, users, businesses, and public institutions. People making copyright policy need our help to understand open-source technology and to find practical ways to make copyright work for open systems and secure computing.

Open Source Software Is the Foundation of the Internet

Open source software plays a crucial role on the Internet and in Canada's digital economy. Everyone using the Internet uses open source software. open source software is based on open standards and encourages innovation. Canada's open source community and industry contributes to our economy.

Why Is Open Source Software Important?
Open-source software is about finding a problem and making a solution. With open source, professional programmers and volunteers are making the digital tools to create, innovate and get work done with a flexible and low-cost response to fast-changing technology. Open source is a community; it's a philosophy of sharing and efficiency; and it's an industry of innovation and cooperation. It's also a successful industry, and should be supported by our government.

Copyright Law Can Support Open Source Software

Open source relies on copyright. Copyright law gives rights to creators of open-source software that permit the distribution of open-source software under licenses like the GPL. Copyright also gives rights to software users -rights like fair use and fair dealing- letting them build on software that has come before. fair dealing guarantees the designing of interoperable software; allows reverse engineering; and encourages computer and network security research. without these fair dealing rights, open source software can't work. without open source software, the internet doesn't work.

Bill C-60: Changing Canadian Copyright Law to Meet Treaty Obligations

Bill C-60 lets copyright owners stop people from circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs)to infringe copyright. Canada's international obligations under the WIPO treaties require that Bill C-60 does so, to ensure "adequate legal protection for effective technological measures." Nowhere in the treaties does it say that circumventing TPMs needs to be outlawed no matter what. No responsible government would have agreed to that: open source software, reverse engineering and security research depend upon the right to circumvent for those purposes. Technical innovation, competition, and network security depend on people exercising those rights as academics and entrepreneurs.