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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« DMCA, Dongles, and Breaking DRM | Main | Is Wikileaks the Napster of Confidential Information? »

July 27, 2010

Breaking DRM Gets New Protections

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

In yesterday's post about the 5th Circuit decision, I noted that most other courts have not agreed with this interpretation of the DMCA. Well, that may be about to change largely due to the strenuous efforts of the EFF and its allies in pushing the US Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress.

Yesterday evening I got a press release from the EFF describing three new exemptions to the DMCA. These exemptions apply to the "anticircumvention provisions" of the act, the same ones addressed in the MGE vs GE ruling. The EFF got the Copyright Office to grant its applications for exemptions, and those exemptions cover acts such as:


  • "jailbreaking" a cellphone - freeing a phone from being locked into a particular carrier or a specific app supplier (actually one new exemption and a renewal of an existing one).
  • remixing short clips from copyrighted DVDs; for example, for use in personal videos such as those people post to YouTube or educational displays in places like classrooms.


This is a big deal, and a bit of good news in the Copyright Wars and EFF is to be commended for continuing to work on restoring these rights to consumers.

I cannot resist reminding readers that the EFF is a volunteer organization supported by donations. On that press release page are links for folk who want to help out the EFF by donating directly or indirectly by buying their swag. I still have my very first EFF shirt, bought in 1990.

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