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DMCA Exemption Time

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the circumvent-with-daring-and-whimsy dept.

Encryption 151

jvillain writes "Contentagenda notes that the Copyright Office is taking submissions for exemptions to the DMCA. They do this every three years. There's a description of the six exemptions made last time to give you some ideas. So fire up the keyboard and let the Copyright Office know what needs to be changed. If you don't get in now, it'll be another three years before you can try again."

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Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (5, Informative)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | about 6 years ago | (#25297343)

I decided to copy the text of TFA:

Media Wonk

User Profile
Paul Sweeting

Paul Sweeting is the editor of ContentAgenda.com and a columnist for Video Business. He has covered the home entertainment industries since 1985 for Billboard, Variety, Publishers Weekly and other leading business publications. He is based in Washington, DC.

It's DMCA exemption time! - October 6, 2008
Get those anti-circumvention exemptions ready kids! It's time for the Copyright Office's triennial review of Section 1201(a)(1) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in which the Register of Copyrights makes recommendations to the Librarian of Congress about granting temporary exemptions to the ban on circumventing encryption on certain classes of works. The federal register notice is here. Congress added the triennial review to the DMCA as a fail-safe mechanism, in case it turned out that the blanket ban on circumvention was "unduly burdening" fair use of certain types of work. The exemptions are only good for three years, however, and must be reapplied for with each review.

The last rulemaking, in 2006, resulted in six exemptions:

        1. Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or universityâ€(TM)s film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors.

        2. Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

        3. Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

        4. Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the bookâ€(TM)s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.

        5. Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network.

        6. Sound recordings, and audiovisual works associated with those sound recordings, distributed in compact disc format and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully purchased works and create or exploit security flaws or vulnerabilities that compromise the security of personal computers, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing, investigating, or correcting such security flaws or vulnerabilities.

Written comments recommending exemptions are due in the Copyright Office December 2, 2008. A notice of proposed rulemaking will be issued later in December based on those recommendations, and final comments are due February 2, 2009.

Re:Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (4, Interesting)

adpsimpson (956630) | about 6 years ago | (#25297571)

  1. Remove "Fair Use" clause from US copyright
  2. Replace with 6 completely defined cases of limited scope
  3. ???
  4. Profit.

I suggest the exemption "Works protected by copyright where copying or circumventing technical protection measures is performed for purposes that would be traditionally considered fair use?"

Re:Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25297741)

>>>2. Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive.
>>>

Awesome! That means I can freely copy Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Colecovision, and other ancient videogames. Cool. Because my Atari died long ago (making my 60 carts unplayable), and my Commodore is also on its last legs. A couple of the floppies died too.

Good exemption. It's stupid to allow old works of art to die just because their format has passed away.

Re:Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (2, Informative)

adpsimpson (956630) | about 6 years ago | (#25297757)

This exemption is talking about the right to circumvent copy prevention, not actually the right to copy the media, if I understand it right.

As such you are not breaking the pro DRM clause of the DMCA, but may still be foul of copyright law. Of course, this is where "fair use" becomes relevant.

Re:Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297779)

You are not a library or an archive. This exemption does not apply to you.

Most of these exceptions are incredibly narrow. Read carefully.

IANAL, but my common-sense understanding says that it's not specifically permitted, which means it is at least ambiguous enough to tie you up in court for several thousand dollars to try to prove your use is OK.

Re:Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (2, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | about 6 years ago | (#25298321)

Why are private libraries invalid in your world? They were extremely important as the foundation of public libraries. You know why? buncha idiots thought asinine restrictions were good for sales.

Re:Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (4, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 6 years ago | (#25297929)

7. Any encrypted or protected media - so the lawful user can utilise it on any one device at a time

This would make the real purpose of the DCMA pointless but make the stated purpose still valid ...

Re:Since the Summary Is Poor. . . (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 years ago | (#25299893)

"And they say the people would go to the King to plead for justice, or for some small favor from that man so much their better. And if the King, being nobler in every facet of his being; whether the wisdom he held, the kindness in his heart, the sternness of his hand, or merely the fantastical way the robes would lay across his wide shoulders, were moved, he would grant with such judiciousness that all would stand in wonder as the downtrodden and abused gained their small petitions. And all would leave his audience, feeling that they're tiny, miserable lives had been so greatly improved merely by having shared the heady airs of his audience chamber. That was the King, or so they say."

I love how... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297373)

... the exemptions are temporary but the law is permanent.

Re:I love how... (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 years ago | (#25297655)

Until someone decides to invalidate the law.

Just keep copyright bound to a person and not to a company. And let the copyright be valid only 5 years after the death of that person to let it be able to cover for funeral costs in case that's needed.

For computer software there should only be copyright if there is support for the software.

Re:I love how... (2, Interesting)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | about 6 years ago | (#25297691)

Just keep copyright bound to a person and not to a company.

I generally agree.

And let the copyright be valid only 5 years after the death of that person to let it be able to cover for funeral costs in case that's needed.

I disagree. We should not have laws or rules on the books which -encourage- the one hit wonder, or the 'create ONE work, live forever off of it' mentality.

Public Domain is our friend.

Re:I love how... (1)

inphinity (681284) | about 6 years ago | (#25298381)

I disagree. We should not have laws or rules on the books which -encourage- the one hit wonder, or the 'create ONE work, live forever off of it' mentality.

Shouldn't this be the burden of the music/film/literary industry rather than the federal government?

If Fox wants to spitting out endless seasons of American Idol, let them. It's not the government's place to encourage creativity.

Re:I love how... (5, Insightful)

WinPimp2K (301497) | about 6 years ago | (#25298601)

" It's not the government's place to encourage creativity"

Umm.. better re-read the little phrase in the Constitution that authorizes copyrights and patents. You know, the bit about promoting progress in the useful arts and sciences. It explicitly is the govenrment's place to encourage creativity. It's a pity that the govenrment seems to limit said encouragement to creative accounting practices nowadays.

Perhaps you meant it is not the government's place to discourage mindless banal entertainments?

Re:I love how... (3, Funny)

hobbit (5915) | about 6 years ago | (#25297927)

let the copyright be valid only 5 years after the death of that person to let it be able to cover for funeral costs

Could even be shorter than that... corpses start to smell after a while...

Re:I love how... (4, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | about 6 years ago | (#25298445)

Sure, but you don't want to encourage film directors to hire hitmen when authors refuse to sell them the rights to adapt their bestsellers.

Re:I love how... (3, Interesting)

rufty_tufty (888596) | about 6 years ago | (#25298685)

"And let the copyright be valid only 5 years after the death of that person to let it be able to cover for funeral costs in case that's needed."

A problem with death + 5 years is that for very lucrative works (e.g. Harry Potter) then it becomes profitable for people to assassinate the author simply in order to get rid of copyright on a work.

Death + 50 years or at a push 20 years might do it, and the current 75 years is too long - especially when it is extendable e.g. Mickey Mouse never going out of copyright...

Re:I love how... (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | about 6 years ago | (#25299381)

How about something a little more reasonable, such as 25 years. Period. End of discussion. On all copyrighted works. By then, it either has no value at all, or has become part of the popular culture and should move into the public domain.

Somehow this was the government's fault: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297731)

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081008/D93M0E5O0.html [myway.com]

I love how it was the fault of the Mexican government that this man couldn't stop shoveling burritos into his grill. This is the problem with the view that the government should be everything to everyone. Personal accountability just goes out the window.

Re:I love how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25299465)

The law is only permanent for as long as people keep voting for the parties that gave us the law. Stop voting republicrat and it can get repealed.

A lot of people on Slashdot claim to dislike DMCA but most of them vote in favor of keeping it. I'm looking at you, Obama/McCain supporters.

I guess it's too late... (1)

mrbene (1380531) | about 6 years ago | (#25297401)

For that WoW Glider [slashdot.org] guy.

Sort of on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297427)

Venomfangx Apologizes to the Internets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_MYyc-PtH4

Within a single device... (4, Insightful)

grimJester (890090) | about 6 years ago | (#25297433)

An exemption should be made for copying within a single device (HD to RAM, for example) or between devices owned by the same person. If I can wish for anything here, make an exemption for any copying without distribution.

Re:Within a single device... (2, Interesting)

adpsimpson (956630) | about 6 years ago | (#25297657)

How about a simple exemption for "fair use?"

This would of course cover your examples, plus the 6 already listed and any number of other situations where the value of the intellectual property is not in any way lessened.

Re:Within a single device... (5, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#25298581)

It already exists. The problem is that it's illegal to sell, trade, or give away any program or information which helps the end user circumvent the protection for any purpose, including fair use. It's like making guns legal, but outlawing the manufacture and publication of instructions on how to make guns, ammunition, and propellants.

Re:Within a single device... (1)

hobbit (5915) | about 6 years ago | (#25298893)

It already exists. The problem is that it's illegal to sell, trade, or give away any program or information which helps the end user circumvent the protection for any purpose, including fair use.

How can an exemption for fair use "already exist" if it's illegal to do those things "for any purpose, including fair use"?

Re:Within a single device... (3, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#25299339)

No, the law is very specific in preserving existing fair use rights. What it prevents is anyone providing the means for circumvention to exercise those rights. So if you are allowed, under fair use, to format shift then you are allowed to do so for a DRM encrypted file as well. The only challenge is that it is illegal for anyone to sell software to crack the encryption. Note that I didn't say that it was illegal to buy cracking software - only to sell it. It's like telling you that you can drink as much as you want, but it is illegal for anyone to give or sell you anything to drink. You can't even pay someone to dig a well for you, or sell you a pump - you have to do it yourself, or find someone who is outside of US jurisdiction to do it.

Re:Within a single device... (1)

hobbit (5915) | about 6 years ago | (#25299505)

So is it currently illegal for anyone to sell the means to circumvent DRM for those 6 cases listed in the article?

Re:Within a single device... (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#25298637)

Any right they can take away from you, they can sell back to you. So, from a publishers point of view, all fair use rights lessen the value of a work.

Making math illegal. (5, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 6 years ago | (#25297439)

Can anyone tell me: how strong does encryption have to be to make breaking it illegal?

Say I create an "encryption algorithm" for images which when it comes down to it does nothing more than invert the image, is anyone selling software which can "break" my encryption now breaking the law?

What if I use nothing more than thousand year old classic like a Caesar cipher to encrypt my media- Is any kid who writes a trivial program to crack such ciphers(specific to my media or not) then breaking the law?

Is thinking about breaking encryption illegal? Is it limited to digital devices or is it illegal to write down a mathamatical formula on paper which can be used to break an encryption scheme?Is it illegal to give the formula to people? How about emailing it to people? How about if the formula is written in a manner than can be parsed by a computer? Or if it's simply example source code for such a program with no executable? that same source code compiled?

Where's the line?

Re:Making math illegal. (4, Informative)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 6 years ago | (#25297547)

There is no line. If the case goes to court, the judge or jury will make a decision. It's impossible to draw a line in a situation like this. Also it doesn't have to be a device, CSS keys posted on Digg and elsewhere have been slapped with DMCA take-down notices before now - although just because some company issued a take-down notice, that doesn't mean it would stand up in court. Also DeCSS source code has been taken down as well.

In the case of the Caesar cypher, I think the (specific to my media or not) is important, it has to be specific to your media in order to infringe your rights under the DMCA. If you're daft enough to use some media format that is so common that there might actually be ROT13 code out there that already works on it without modification, then you'd probably be thrown out of court.

Re:Making math illegal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297581)

This is trollish.

Breaking encryption is not illegal, neither is thinking about breaking encryption.

Re:Making math illegal. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25298201)

Except that it is illegal in fascist America.

Re:Making math illegal. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297585)

You are obsviously a terrorist trying to abuse the U.S. laws, meant for good citizens to respect.

Your IP has been recorded, your house is now laser marked, and an A10 Thunderbolt is currently on it's way to resolve the threat your subersive comment has put on this country.

Re:Making math illegal. (3, Funny)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | about 6 years ago | (#25297701)

Your IP has been recorded

I hope they are not using the MediaSentry method of IP recognition and determination.

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | about 6 years ago | (#25298131)

I hope they are - that way they will never be able to pin it on me

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | about 6 years ago | (#25297907)

Dammit, you people just don't give up on your quest to copy every bit of Intellectual Property you can find!

Re:Making math illegal. (2, Funny)

Megane (129182) | about 6 years ago | (#25299157)

Dammit, you people just don't give up on your quest to copy every bit of Intellectual Property you can find!

One more bit copied.

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

malignant_minded (884324) | about 6 years ago | (#25297799)

Between DVD encryption and that game with the scrambled picture and the missing square that you have to move around in order to figure out the picture?

Re:Making math illegal. (4, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25297819)

Can anyone tell me: how strong does encryption have to be to make breaking it illegal?

It's up to human judgement. You would need to convince the court that your "encryption" is a mechanism for preventing unauthorised access. Your opponent would try to convince the court that it isn't. You may want to find a cryptography specialist as an expert witness

What if I use nothing more than thousand year old classic like a Caesar cipher to encrypt my media- Is any kid who writes a trivial program to crack such ciphers(specific to my media or not) then breaking the law?

See above. Most cryptography specialist would point out that this is just a data representation change.

Is thinking about breaking encryption illegal?

No.

Is it limited to digital devices or is it illegal to write down a mathamatical formula on paper which can be used to break an encryption scheme?

It's manufacturing, importing or distributing a device that is intended for circumventing encryption. Probably wouldn't apply to a formula.

Is it illegal to give the formula to people? How about emailing it to people?

Depends on your motivations. This is different from your stated motivations. If you're clearly lying when you're saying it's for academic study only then it's still not legal.

Where's the line?

There is no line. This is why humans interpret the laws rather than machines. We can handle fuzzy logic.

Re:Making math illegal. (2, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 6 years ago | (#25298091)

It's manufacturing, importing or distributing a device that is intended for circumventing encryption. Probably wouldn't apply to a formula.

And if that formula is machine parseable since that's what code boils down to...

Depends on your motivations. This is different from your stated motivations. If you're clearly lying when you're saying it's for academic study only then it's still not legal.

Where did I say it was for academic study? Does it mention it in the DMCA? Is it one of those screwup pieces of legislation where it's legal if I print the source code for a copy protection cracker in a book (think PGP) and mail it to someone but illegal if I email it to them. Or would both be illegal?

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25298231)

Where did I say it was for academic study?

I didn't. It's an example.

Is it one of those screwup pieces of legislation where it's legal if I print the source code for a copy protection cracker in a book (think PGP) and mail it to someone but illegal if I email it to them. Or would both be illegal?

Nope. It depends on the purpose of sending it. If you post it to them for the explicit reason of allowing them to illegally circumvent copyright protections then it's potentially illegal. If you email it to them explicitly so they may take advantage of one of the exceptions to the DMCA then it's probably legal.

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 6 years ago | (#25298585)

ok, so disseminating knowledge on a certain subject is illegal due to the DMCA except in a few unusual cases.You cleared it up nicely.

Wonder how this gets around the first. If export of "weapons" was protected as long as it was a book I can only guess how long this will hold up.

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 6 years ago | (#25298651)

Ok so the dissemination of knowledge on certain subjects is illegal unless it's covered under one of the little exceptions. That clears it up nicely, cheers.

wonder how it gets around the first. If the export of "weapons" was legal if printed in a book then I can only imagine how this would go in court.

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | about 6 years ago | (#25299873)

And if that formula is machine parseable since that's what code boils down to...

I don't know why the FSF doesn't just ignore software patents and the DMCA. They should let this argument be taken to court so both of these rediculous restrictions can be shut the fuck down. I'm pretty sure the FSF, SFLC, and/or EFF have enough money to throw at it.

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | about 6 years ago | (#25297883)

Where's the line?

The line is where it is perceived to, now or in the future, cost a company money.

Re:Making math illegal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25298485)

Is being able to read illegal? What about if I devise an encryption scheme such that plaintext == cyphertext? Is it not encryption?

Re:Making math illegal. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 6 years ago | (#25298615)

In the wonderful world of lawyers technical reality don't really matter.

They just get someone to stand up and say they in their opinion that doesn't count.

Fair Use (4, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | about 6 years ago | (#25297471)

It would be really nice if there were a broad exemption with something about Fair Use of content by media's purchasers. But I wouldn't expect that to come from the FCC but instead a court, since Fair Use arose from Common Law [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Fair Use (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 6 years ago | (#25297551)

There's no way such a broad exemption is going to get anywhere. Essentially you're saying "it would be really nice if they'd just open the flood gates for any circumvention at all".

Re:Fair Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25298547)

Only way you'll ever see Fair Use return permanently and in force is if they ever remove this abomination of a law. This is, of course, what I still hope for, but I doubt we'll ever see it. All hail the might media conglomerates.

Re:Fair Use (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 6 years ago | (#25299503)

There is a broad exemption for fair use in the DMCA.

From 17 USC 1201(c)(1):

Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

Chapter 12 of copyright law is where the DMCA ended up.

Re:Fair Use (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#25299795)

Sure, you have the fair use rights, but you can't break any sort of content protection/DRM/etc. to exercise those rights.

Basically, you can copy anything you like under fair use, so long as the producer/distributor made no effort whatsoever to prevent you from doing so.

it's good that i'm exempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297485)

not being unfortunate enough to live in such a despotic state

oh, america, how far you've wandered from freedom

First Sale (2, Interesting)

Lord Bitman (95493) | about 6 years ago | (#25297537)

When circumvention is used to transfer content from one device* to another, (or from one owner to another in such a way that the original user no longer has access to the content [such as uploading a file, then deleting the local copy]), in a circumstance which would not normally be permissible due to technical, but not legal, restrictions of the scheme being circumvented.

*"device" is a poor choice of phrase, as this should also cover use of other operating systems or players on a single physical "device".

here is a good one (4, Interesting)

acedotcom (998378) | about 6 years ago | (#25297561)

not to say that i actually support Real Media, but for once they made a useful application for people. so lets add this exception:

"Software circumvention of protection can be allowed for personal use in the event that no more then one copy is made and the new copy adds a new and at least equivalent layer of protection. This added protection must not be obsolete and must allow for an identical and identifiable copy."

I dont think that is TOO opened ended, and it would give legit dvd-decryption a boost, as well as make "overcopying" identifiable, at least to a piece of software, a particular DVD or CD, or a user or computer.

Re:here is a good one (2, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 6 years ago | (#25297989)

And of course if this software is open source, you can just remove the MovieData->ReEncrypt() call and re-compile.

Re:here is a good one (2, Insightful)

acedotcom (998378) | about 6 years ago | (#25298115)

well it can be open source, but thats when you start making people accountable, because at that point the are circumventing the "first copy" rule. And thats the key thing, is allowing an exception that allows people to create and examine the code, but not "ruin it for everyone". to be fair, even a solution like this would never satisfy everyone, but at least it would make people with media servers and large collection of media not look like criminals, because that is where most provisions of the DMCA will take people.

Re:here is a good one (2, Interesting)

ePhil_One (634771) | about 6 years ago | (#25298401)

"Software circumvention of protection can be allowed for personal use in the event that no more then one copy is made and the new copy adds a new and at least equivalent layer of protection. This added protection must not be obsolete and must allow for an identical and identifiable copy."

Why limit it to 1 copy? This just forces another layer of DRM to manage that one copy.

1) Circumvention is allowed for transfer to player devices (ipod, home media system, etc.) by individuals

This would also cover other home media devices and library systems as well, even Linux and open source media players. Exempt the intent (to play).

2) Circumvention is allowed for creating personal use duplicates for the purpose of use in high risk environments such as automobiles and children's use for personal use.

This permits the making of backup media for a purpose just about every person familiar with kids can get behind.

Of course, once you legitimize these uses, the cats out of the bag. But think of the useful products that can be developed...

Re:here is a good one (1)

acedotcom (998378) | about 6 years ago | (#25298839)

Touche, however that would be a single copy at a time for personal use. In respect to fair use, it allows you to make backups and emergency copies, not create new formats for use on multiple devices. The second you start moving media around to unrestricted and unmonitored devices you end up scaring the MAFIAA. That why CD piracy is so rampant because anybody can do it and WAV can be convert to so many different containers.

the real point is to satisfy the need to make accessible digital backup, maintaining the "artists vision", for the media and make the copy secure and fixed to a device

of course, that doesn't mean that you can't ACCESS said copy from multiple devices. And that is where this kind of Exception would shine because it would allow you to backup a full media library and LEGALLY access it over a network for PERSONAL USE.

I'll do one better (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#25298655)

Public trade in circumvention devices or software are allowed for the personal, non-redistributable use of the purchaser of a consumer product including, but not limited to, format shifting, provided that the reproduction already falls under the fair use provisions of the DMCA.

It doesn't change the letter of the DMCA exemptions, except to make the exemptions available to all citizens - not just those who can crack and code.

Re:I'll do one better (1)

acedotcom (998378) | about 6 years ago | (#25298971)

You don't need an exception for that whole "public trade' thing. The DMCA censors free speech in that aspect. The problem the "public" part. I think one should be able to speak as much code as they want...so long as everyone understands it. If you want to do that, then you should (in all fairness) allow DMCA regulators access to your source code.

it comes down to the fact that you can't have Falstaff, and have him thin.

Re:I'll do one better (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#25299213)

No, that requires you have a friend who will help you. Sure, it means OSS can be used, but many (most?) people would rather spend the money and get a commercial piece of software where they can send tech support questions. Forums don't count. Of course, I'm thinking specifically of Slysoft here, which does a pretty good job of keeping up with the various methods - something that DVDdecrypter can no longer do.

Fix the public trade problem and then individuals can ignore the rest of the law - fair use is both available and practical.

Re:here is a good one (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 6 years ago | (#25298827)

Software circumvention of protection can be allowed for personal use in the event that no more then one copy is made

So you don't backup your hard drive?

Re:here is a good one (1)

acedotcom (998378) | about 6 years ago | (#25299075)

Copy of a copy

if you make a backup of your harddrive then that is for utilitarian purpose. It is for emergencies, not for regular use. Your coy of a copy should only be used by you and should only be used once. Are you make bootable backups that you can run on other machines just so you can access your backup movies? That would violate this exception.

and in all fairness, thats like coming after people for backing up The OS on the computer in that fashion.

Re:here is a good one (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 6 years ago | (#25299287)

Do you really, really trust the RIAA to draw a distinction between backups and usable copies?

Why Only CDs? (5, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | about 6 years ago | (#25297569)

According to exemption 6 on the list only CDs can legally be bypassed. That seems awfully ignorant being that Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and even DVD protections pose far greater threats to computer security. Besides, that restricts an owner from having full access to his hardware should really be ruled unconstitutional as a seizure violation. Sure, it is the media distrubuters implement this, but the DMCA is even worse than Kelo vs. City of New London when it comes to the government making it okay for one person to deprive another of the use of their property.
   

Why Only fitness of purpose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297747)

Guess that depends on what you mean by "full access"? One could argue that if it meets it's primary purpose. e.g. Cars go from point A to point B, CD players play music, DVD players play video, etc. Then reasonable access has been provided. The fact that you can use all of the above to cause blunt force damage to others shouldn't be enshrined into law.

Re:Why Only fitness of purpose? (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | about 6 years ago | (#25298033)


Guess that depends on what you mean by "full access"? One could argue that if it meets it's primary purpose. e.g. Cars go from point A to point B, CD players play music, DVD players play video, etc. Then reasonable access has been provided. The fact that you can use all of the above to cause blunt force damage to others shouldn't be enshrined into law.

I can take my car apart piece by piece if I wanted to and reassemble it to my liking without breaking any laws. Why? Because my car is my property. Having "reasonable access" to something is no where even close to being the same as owning something.

Re:Why Only CDs? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25297933)

That one dealt with an explicit problem rather than a hypothetical future problem, and they wanted to keep the scope as limited as possible.

Not saying I agree this is the right way to go about it but I'm pretty certain this was the copyright office's logic.

Re:Why Only CDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25298223)

this was three years ago, no one probably cared about blu-ray or HD-DVD at the time.

[Troll] Exempt Everything. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297589)

Dear DMCA staff.

Just exempt every content which has once been recorded on a technical medium.

Thanks.

Consumables... namely printer carts (4, Interesting)

Aphrika (756248) | about 6 years ago | (#25297625)

Am I right in thinking that some printer companies use the DMCA to go after those that make compatible cartridges?

If that's true, then I think it's daft and an abuse of the act. If it carries on, we'll have electronics small enough that sheets of paper will start being compatible with specific printers...

It's DMCA Exemption Time! (0, Offtopic)

hobbit (5915) | about 6 years ago | (#25297629)

Video available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8MDNFaGfT4 [youtube.com]

Re:It's DMCA Exemption Time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25298463)

Offtopic? Well duh... most allusive jokes are.

DRM Music where 'Managing Server' is Gone (5, Insightful)

Luthair (847766) | about 6 years ago | (#25297821)

With a number of well known brands closing their DRM servers (Walmart, Yahoo!), it ought to be legal to remove the DRM from the audio tracks which they sold. (Really, it ought to be mandatory for the company to do it.)

Re:DRM Music where 'Managing Server' is Gone (3, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | about 6 years ago | (#25298025)

This is the only comment I've read so far with a reasonable idea for submission. Anything that had DRM that depends on an outside source should automatically be fair game if they shut down the servers. Movies and video games included. What happens if Steam goes belly up?

Re:DRM Music where 'Managing Server' is Gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25299601)

They claim they'll remove all authentication if that happens. (Yes, I know there's no chance of that actually happening).

Re:DRM Music where 'Managing Server' is Gone (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | about 6 years ago | (#25299331)

3. Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

This is so similar to the case of DRM'd music tracks where the DRM servers have been turned off that it would probably be easy to get an exception for decrypting those tracks. Interestingly, there isn't a known way to do that once those DRM servers are completely unavailable, as far as I know. Isn't the whole point that the media is encrypted with some key, and the DRM server provides the key each time the user wants to play it? That means there is no legal way to store that decryption key BEFORE the DRM server goes belly up, and no way to get the key afterward.

What really needs to get added as an exception is an unconditional fair use exception to allow any person to create at least 1 permanent backup copy in a format of their choice (important) for backup in the event of data loss of any DMCA protected media on a storage device that they own. Data loss should cover not only scratching a DVD but also losing your DRM server permanently. The problem really boils down to ownership, of what, and by whom. When I "buy" a DVD, I expect that I will "own" the physical media and be able to watch the movie on it forever. Not until some company decides to stop making DVD players (it'll happen eventually), or the physical medium gets scratched. The implication of owning a copy of a work is that, with appropriate care, it has an indefinite lifespan. Since it's so bleeding obvious that computers are good at making redundant copies for backup purposes, it's insane to pretend that the works on physical mediums shouldn't have redundant backups. After all, there's already partial redundant backups on the DVD in the form of reed solomon codes, so why not just another copy on a hard disk somewhere? Information theory should drive policy in the information age, not the other way around.

Where are the trolls at? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297829)

Hey! Where are the Obama vs. McCain trolls? We can't let an article go by without them!

Mod parent down, then vote NDP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297889)

Where's your platform? Under your sweater?

Not fun. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297841)

It's not fun to stay at the |) /\/\ ( /-\ !

Definitely need a tougher exception for Spore (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25297855)

There's already an exception for computer software which is no longer supported. I think we need an exception for computer software that requires a potentially expensive phone call to activate. Needs a better argument than EA are idiots though. Having to call and explain why you've installed 3 times already doesn't sound such an onerous task until you have to actually do it.

Re:Definitely need a tougher exception for Spore (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25297979)

Might be easier for you just to get a better deal from your phone carrier. The expense of calling is not really a barrier for most people.

Re:Definitely need a tougher exception for Spore (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25298161)

It's non zero for the right to play a game that I own.

Why should I should change my phone plan just so I can have the right to play the game I own?

Tougher exception for all Digital Media (2, Interesting)

QuestorTapes (663783) | about 6 years ago | (#25298327)

> There's already an exception for computer software which is no longer supported.
> I think we need an exception for computer software that requires a potentially expensive phone call to activate.
> Needs a better argument than EA are idiots though. Having to call and explain why you've
> installed 3 times already doesn't sound such an onerous task until you have to actually do it.

Make it a bit broader. In any case where the manufacturer/activator fails to provide reasonable access to activation. Then we can start to define reasonable terms:

- local or toll-free activation number
- phones answered promptly at all hours
- activation phones properly staffed with people trained to resolve activation issues, not just read a script
- open reasonable hours; if the software is US only, minimum of say, 8 AM EST to 10 PM PST M-Sat. If worldwide, 24/7/365.
- permanent unlock option available if the support must be discontinued
- burden on manufacturer to unlock permanently if they fail to resolve recurring issues for a customer in a reasonably period of time.
- legally defined minimum definitions of reasonable time. Some already exist for other regulated industries; these might be used as a guideline.

And this should be extended to all "Digital Media."

Nothing but a fig leaf. (2, Insightful)

bboxman (1342573) | about 6 years ago | (#25297859)

This "exemption" is nothing but a fig leaf to cover the draconian (and unconstitutional) DMCA act. I say "Ha!" to any act that forbids me to disseminate instructions on how to read ROT13 (in a "copyrighted" work).

The exemptions granted last time around are really, mostly, a "nobody cares" exemption. They were granted so that organizations engaged in archival work can cover their assess -- but they really could've performed said exemptions and the probability of a suit would be infintisimly small.

Re:Nothing but a fig leaf. (1)

Metorical (1241524) | about 6 years ago | (#25298259)

Everyone knows ROT26 is more secure and consumes less CPU cycles to decode.

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A solution (2, Insightful)

Daryen (1138567) | about 6 years ago | (#25298193)

I have a rather simple solution (that will probably never happen) to this problem.

Sell me one license to use/play/run whatever you are selling. Then let me use/play/run it wherever I want whenever I want, however I want.

Give me the right to give or sell my license to someone else, meaning I would no longer be able to use/play/run whatever you are selling anymore.

Let me worry about format shifts, backing it up, keeping track of my devices, etc.

Re:A solution (1)

lowlymarine (1172723) | about 6 years ago | (#25298301)

Wait, you want your legally protected rights of first sale and fair use?! Thought...err, Copyright police [slashdot.org] , arrest him!

Re:A solution (1)

Pervaricator General (1364535) | about 6 years ago | (#25299677)

Exactly. Outlawing the "non-transferable" portion of digital licenses is a great way out of this.

Not going to get much this time around (1)

edremy (36408) | about 6 years ago | (#25298333)

While the last round clearly gave some neeeded exemptions, given the impending start of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN there's very little chance that the restrictions will be lifted this time. Without serious restrictions on the ability to transfer Dho-Na geometry information between devices the Feds are screwed since we don't have the infrastructure to handle something like the Brit's SCORPION STARE conversion of their traffic cams.

Sorry folks, we're going to have to suck it up for a few years until we can make sure the Great Old Ones don't eat our brains.

someone submit this for me: (2, Interesting)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 6 years ago | (#25298647)

Computer programs, video games, and multimedia content in digital format which, in order to operate in the desired manner, require activation to Internet servers which no longer function or are decommissioned. An Internet activation server shall be considered not functioning after one month of downtime.

more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25298689)

7. no more lexar's

8. no more blizzard

please codify these with more finesse

A narrow example of fair use, maybe? (4, Insightful)

msouth (10321) | about 6 years ago | (#25298803)

(Sorry if this is redundant, I haven't had time to read submissions yet. I'm evil! Downmod me!)

Something like "Any material which has been legitimately purchased, where the purpose is to view/hear/otherwise use said material."

Another one:

Copying for personal backup, not to be redistributed. If they redistribute the copy, or even just carelessly allow an unencrypted version of something previously encrypted to go into the wild, they would be exposed to the full consequences of the DMCA, say.

My exemption (1)

nsheppar (889445) | about 6 years ago | (#25299047)

Any work, which I lawfully own, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of exercising me fair use rights.

They'll take that one, right?

Re:My exemption (1)

corsec67 (627446) | about 6 years ago | (#25299839)

You already have that one.

What is needed is "distribution of software for circumvention of encryption of a copyrighted file for fair use shall be legal" exemption.

Exempt Everything (1)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | about 6 years ago | (#25299273)

Freedom of speech should only be taken away when it's a matter of life and death, like shouting "Fire!" in a crouded theater, or giving away national security secrets. Speech that educates people on how to break DRM doesn't fall into that category, and should be protected.

Re:Exempt Everything (1)

Joe U (443617) | about 6 years ago | (#25299789)

Speech that educates people on how to break DRM doesn't fall into that category, and should be protected.

But...you might hurt their PROFITS! It's their profits, their god given right to make more money!

Seriously, it says 'Congress shall make no law ' in the first amendment, I'll take that to mean 'Congress shall make no law' but I might be naive when it comes to something that is pretty much explicit.

Hardware lock in / vendor lock in needs Exemption (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 6 years ago | (#25299579)

Hardware lock in / vendor lock in needs a exemption as well so we can.

*Not be locked to useing there INK / replacement parts with there hardware.

*Be able to install software like mac os x on any pc YES YOU STILL HAVE TO BUY IT AT THE STORE to be able to do that.

*Be able to jailbreak hardware to run open / 3rd party software on your OWN xbox, PS3, Cell phone, Iphone, PSP, DS, WII , and more.

*Region locks need to go

*Be able to use 3rd party on line severs with payed for games.

and more

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