[linux-elitists] Lisa Bowman on DVD, DMCA, Linux

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Mon Feb 28 23:13:57 PST 2000

Quoting Seth David Schoen (schoen@loyalty.org):

> How about
> "The DeCSS program violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (now
> 17 USC 1201)'s prohibition on the manufacture or distribution of
> circumvention devices intended to circumvent an access control system
> like CSS"?
> I can tell you that _that's_ the one that the people on the Berkman
> Center's dvd-discuss list are afraid of.  Nobody (MPAA press releases
> confusingly to the contrary) has been accused of copyright infringment,
> nor patent infringement.
> The DMCA is new, counterintuitive, and scary.

Here's what I had to say about that on one of the LinuxWorld Online
newsgroups, today.  (I think it's going to be necessary to get DMCA
at least partially gutted by the courts, which unfortunately may have to 
await the right cases to make that happen.)


Plaintiffs allege that the new Digital Millenium Copyright Act makes
illegal possession of technology that _can_ be used to "circumvent"
techniques intended to block copyright violation -- _regardless_ of
whether that has ever occurred or is remotely practical.  For example,
if you print copyrighted materials on paper designed to be difficult to
photocopy, then you may sue to stop people from manufacturing
photocopiers -- since they _might_ be used to violate your copyright.

Whether this reading of the DMCA is enforceable is what the courts will
be deciding in cases to come.


I offer that copy-machine metaphor free of royalty, if anyone else finds
it useful.  ;->
Cheers,     Founding member of the Hyphenation Society, a grassroots-based, 
Rick Moen   not-for-profit, locally-owned-and-operated, cooperatively-managed,
rick (at) linuxmafia.com  modern-American-English-usage-improvement association

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