Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

DMCA Exemptions Don't Matter

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the exception-to-the-rule dept.

Cellphones 146

sbma44 followed up to the recent news that jailbreaking iPhones is now legal with an article about DMCA exemptions. He says "The American Prospect has an article up that argues that focus on specific DMCA exemptions is silly, the practical upshot is about zero, and the underlying law remains as rotten as ever."

cancel ×

146 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

My first response as well (4, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057146)

I had the same reaction myself. These kinds of laws just need to die.

Re:My first response as well (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057244)

The DMCA is not going to die any time soon, and we need to accept that the battle was lost in 1998. Now we have to find a way to live with the DMCA and try to get as many exceptions to the anti-circumvention clause as possible, with a focus on the most relevant and pressing exceptions (jail breaking cell phones, freeing ebooks etc.). That, or we can try to get the majority of people to wake up and realize how their apathy has led to a situation where megacorps take advantage of them, and hopefully those people will actually do something about it -- I won't hold my breath though.

Re:My first response as well (2, Interesting)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057902)

IIRC Universal v. Reimerdes [wikipedia.org] (the DeCSS case) failed to consider First Amendment and Fair Use, instead focusing on the fact that DeCSS itself was not intended for fair use. If they went after e.g. libdvdcss, they would IMHO (IANAL) be forced to overturn the DMCA due to those issues.

Re:My first response as well (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058286)

I think it is just as likely that the courts would find that since there are plenty of DVD players licensed by the MPAA, including software implementations, that the DMCA does not deny anyone their rights. "Reasonable and non-discriminatory" is the phrase that comes to my mind; most judges are not free software supporters.

Re:My first response as well (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058730)

First off CSS isn't protected by the DMCA, it fails to be effective or a copy protection measure. Subsequently the anti-circumvention shouldn't apply in the first place. Secondly, it is neither reasonable nor non-discriminatory. One of the big drivers of DeCSS was the fact that there were no options for many platforms at all. If you use Windows or Mac, fine there's plenty of options, but FreeBSD for instance doesn't as far as I know have one even now that isn't based upon DeCSS.

Secondly, it's an effort to control what players can play the media, not who can make copies, and that's important, even without DeCSS it was trivial to make a copy of a DVD, it would just be bitwise identical to the original including CSS and any region coding.

Re:My first response as well (3, Interesting)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058764)

Nay, let's just focus on the facts.

We are in a political quagmire and should take any means necessary to protect our common interests. DMCA exemptions are basically our wedge into the crack, and if we hammer enough wedges, we can make the crack that much bigger. The exceptions really are our best bet right now.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33059098)

mod parent up

Re:My first response as well (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059136)

Effectiveness of the Copyright protection system in question is not part of the DMCA's provisions. Circumventing a password-protected ZIP file could be held against you if the Copyright holder claimed it was an anti-circumvention measure.

Re:My first response as well (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058952)

links to linux dvd players that are in the same price range($0) as mplayer, and vlc, or "reasonable and non-discriminatory" isn't in effect. IMO.

Re:My first response as well (5, Interesting)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057294)

When I look at the current state of IP law, the one thing that always strikes me is how far we've fallen since the Sony vs. Universal case in 1984. That wasn't that long ago, and yet in that relatively short amount of time, IP law has done a complete 180-degree turn. Well, seemingly, anyway - I'm sure if I went back and looked closer, I would probably find that things weren't quite as clear cut in 1984 as it felt like they were. Nonetheless, to go from having SCOTUS declare that timeshifting == fair use to having a federal law that criminalizes fair use (which is essentially what DMCA does, since you have to circumvent CSS et all these days in order to exercise your fair use rights) in such a short time is something I find difficult to wrap my mind around.

Re:My first response as well (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058400)

When I look at the current state of IP law, the one thing that always strikes me is how far we've fallen since the Sony vs. Universal case in 1984.

If you think a ruling in a case between two major multinational corporations in any way represented a high point in fair use doctrine, you'd want to start thinking again. IP law has always been and will always be structured and modified, for and at the behest of corporations only. No other group has ever or will ever have its interests considered. Read up on the history of copyright [google.com] and discover that it has always been a publishers law, and all amendments to it have been in the explicit interests of such groups.

Re:My first response as well (1)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059254)

Are you just a karma whore, or do you have reading comprehension problems. Why else would you waste your energy pointing out something I already conceded in my original post?

Re:My first response as well (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058412)

It's also interesting to note that Sony have gone from the people helping to enable fair use, to the evil overlords of the copyright dominion.

Re:My first response as well (2, Insightful)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058754)

When you go primarily from a content reproducer (Walkman, Discman, VHS VCR) to content producer (Sony Picture Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment), your view on fair use changes. Fair use is good when you are primarily a content reproducer as it ensures that people have a reason to buy your product. Fair use is no good when you are primarily a content producer as it gives people a reason to not buy another copy of your product.

Re:My first response as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33059050)

We're killing them, one step at a time. The reason these exemptions occurred is due to civil disobedience on the part of geeks and activists. Protesting DRM, creating decss, distributing the code far and wide when they attempted to shut us down, posting the AACS encryption key to every blog and web site, moving development and storage of illegal code offshore to keep it out of *AA hands, hiding behind anonymity where possible and standing as a group too large to arrest when it's not... we've given them hell. If they didn't create these exemptions, it would undermine their ability to govern by showing they can't even reasonably handle a minor issue like copyright.

There's far more of us than there are lobbyists, lawyers, and media execs; we are the majority and our interests are in no way served by these laws. In fact, these laws actively work AGAINST our interests by annoying us at the personal level and locking up our culture at the societal level. They can't sue or arrest us all. They can't win against us. These exemptions come against the wishes of every company that paid money for these laws, which means that even though these particular exemptions aren't important there's one thing they say:

We are winning.

Our tactics -- while piecemeal, disorganized, and mostly counting on group dynamics -- are working.

I don't trust in the system, but I trust in all of you. You've all done your part, told people how shitty this law is, protested against it, broken it, made every effort to disobey it, and made it clear that what they want is not something they can have. Continue as you have. We will win in the end.

Time to jailbreak sopssa's ass! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057148)

He is a fucking troll, and his sockpuppet SquarePixel!

The law isn't going away... (0, Offtopic)

bannable (1605677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057158)

...unless you should travel to the Hidden Temple, wherein lies the Brass Monkey, which might be guarded by horrible creatures in the Pit of Trial!

Re:The law isn't going away... (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057938)

Brass Monkey? The Beastie Boys' lawyer will be in contact with you tomorrow over infringement over their copyright.

Re:The law isn't going away... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058690)

I'm sorry, my client misspoke. He meant to say Copper-Zinc Alloy Monkey.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057162)

O my goodness... Just when you think something good happens...

Screw CSS (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057170)

FTFA:

"...the exemption now specifically applies only to CSS, the technology used to encrypt DVD contents. There's no mention of AACS, the equivalent technology for Blu-ray discs, or of HDCP, the DRM system most likely to make installing your next TV a nightmarish ordeal"

The CSS portion of that is a HUGE positive. I would imagine that Blu-Ray and HDCP are too new to be considered for this kind of exemption...but knowing that I'm legally allowed to circumvent CSS is extremely noteworthy.

The CSS change and the "unlock phone for any network" change are both huge. WTF is the title talking about, that the exemptions don't matter? People have been wanting just those two for years.

Re:Screw CSS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057242)

The CSS change and the "unlock phone for any network" change are both huge. WTF is the title talking about, that the exemptions don't matter? People have been wanting just those two for years.

The title is implying that whilst people have been wanting just those two for years, now that it has happened it's too little too late. In other words, it's pandering to public perception whilst pocketing from the industry, who are in fact looking to the next 3 years, not the last (Blu-ray, HDCP, and what have you).

Re:Screw CSS (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057250)

This stuff matters for the reasons that the MPAA and RIAA complained about.

These exceptions carve out rights for individuals in a law that otherwise tries to screw individuals.

It's a far from ideal situation but it is a start.

Re:Screw CSS (3, Informative)

metiscus (1270822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057254)

The author is arguing that the DMCA legislates to private citizens the disallowed behaviors that they have with technology devices that they have purchased themselves which may be necessary to simply use the device. The author disagrees with the premise that there should be laws that dictate to private citizens what they can do with their own technology. The final line in the article sums that point up pretty well:

"The exemptions are fine; they hardly matter. It's the fact that we need them at all that's the problem."

Re:Screw CSS (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057270)

Agreed, but downplaying successes, regardless of how small (or pandering) they may be, sounds very childish.

Too little, too late? I don't know about you, but my DVD collection is still an order of magnitude larger than my Blu-Ray collection.

Re:Screw CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057358)

Too little, too late? I don't know about you, but my DVD collection is still an order of magnitude larger than my Blu-Ray collection.

Unless you got all of those Blu-Ray discs for free (and I mean no one paid for them, even as gifts) you're part of the problem. Is it really so hard to skip a generation? I have a 47 inch HD TV and I don't have one. I'm not thrilled that the alternatives aren't exactly open, but they are better than rewarding the cluster-f*** that is Blu-Ray. Heck, even buying an XBox 360 and streaming 720p from Netflix is better!

I'm only picking on you because you seem to realize that Blu-Ray is a glaring example of anti-consumer technology (that managed to kill off a more consumer friendly rival format) but then cop to buying them. Quit buying them and tell your family and friends to pass man!

Re:Screw CSS (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057496)

I currently own a bit over 700 DVDs. I also currently own exactly 4 Blu-Ray discs. Most of the time, we get stuff through Netflix (we have the "6 at a time" option, and stream a metric fuckton of movies and shows...Wii for non-HD content, Xbox 360 for HD content.)

The only reason I can play Blu-Ray discs is because I have a PS3.

Also, in case you are interested, here are the four Blu-Rays I've bought:

Blade Runner
The Dark Knight
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
District 9

Re:Screw CSS (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058262)

I own about as many DVD's and still buy them.
But I have started buying bluray discs but do not own anything that can play bluray discs.. I rip them and play them on my XBMC.

I have not watched a regular DVD in over 3 years now as well, any new DVD I buy we instantly rip it and put it on my home on demand system.

Why? because I dont have 20 minutes to waste for all the "must watch cant skip" crap in the beginning. I want to watch the movie not the commercials and you are a criminal videos..

Re:Screw CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33059244)

How do you propose that you are able to rip the disc without being able to play it; but a drive and playback software is all that is needed. You purport being able to rip it and so have a drive, and XBMC does the playback. Now sure, you're not doing it how MPAA and the consortiums want to force you to, but you're still playing the content.

I do the same with DVDs (rip them and shelve them), but be clear that they are still being played, just not from the original disc.

Re:Screw CSS (4, Informative)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057994)

Unless you're putting together movie clips for commentary, you're still not allowed to break CSS. The library of Congress didn't say you're allowed to break DRM for any fair-use purpose, they said you can break it in order to accomplish the following activities

the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:

        (i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
        (ii) Documentary filmmaking;
        (iii) Noncommercial videos.

You'll note that backing up your movies or shifting the media of your movies is conspicuously absent.

Re:Screw CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33058546)

But because there now demonstrably exists a permitted use granted under the exemptions, distributing DeCSS in the US might not be illegal anymore.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. You are seriously advised to take professional legal advice if you want to test this hypothesis!

Re:Screw CSS (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058796)

Actually, the anti-circumvention rule doesn't apply to CSS.

1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems
(a) Violations Regarding Circumvention of Technological Measures.—
(1)
(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. The prohibition contained in the preceding sentence shall take effect at the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this chapter.

I don't think that anybody would seriously suggest that CSS is an effective means of controlling a work. Considering that any number of licensed implementations exist and that you can easily do it yourself with DeCSS.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058892)

The DMCA helpfully defines "effective" as "well, we gave it a shot."

(B) a technological measure “effectively controls access to a work” if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.

Re:Screw CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33058936)

But so long as I don't make copies that infringe copyright I'm not triggering any DMCA action since copyright is never actually violated.

Re:Screw CSS (2, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059344)

Yes you are. If you circumvent a copy protection measure, you're violating the DMCA irrespective of whether or not you have a right to copy the protected work.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058994)

seems like those would fall under "(iii) Noncommercial videos" to me, it's a video, that i'm not doing anything commercial with.

Re:Screw CSS (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057280)

A great argument...and 12 years too late. The DMCA is already signed into law, and there is no indication that anyone with any power is going to repeal it. It enjoys the support of democrats and republicans, and both Presidents Bush and Obama are pushing for similar laws to be passed in other countries, as well as for the DMCA to be strengthened here in the USA. The likelihood that this law is going to be repealed or overturned is effectively nil, and that is a reality that we have to live with for the time being.

Exemptions are the new battle, and we need to get as many of them passed as we possibly can.

Re:Screw CSS (3, Insightful)

metiscus (1270822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057410)

The DMCA is another example of the widening disconnect between the citizenry and the special interest dollars that drive our politics, particularly with respect to matters of IP. I assert that, had the law been brought to a vote by the average citizen in terms of its implications, it would never have become law.

Re:Screw CSS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057622)

The average citizen does not understand or particularly care about esoteric copyright concerns, which is why there isn't a widespread outrage over the DMCA outside of the computer nerd subculture.

Besides, it wasn't all bad; the anticircumvention part is pure bullshit but shielding service providers from responsibility of their users infringement was a pretty good idea.

Re:Screw CSS (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059076)

shielding service providers from responsibility of their users infringement was a pretty good idea.

Yes, but not being punished for sending fake DMCA takedown notices is bad.
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100323/1915138686.shtml [techdirt.com]

Re:Screw CSS (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059286)

Besides, it wasn't all bad; the anticircumvention part is pure bullshit but shielding service providers from responsibility of their users infringement was a pretty good idea.

It was, but it was not new; case law already existed (the Netcom decision, for instance) which shielded providers from users infringement. DMCA 512 gave the copyright owners the new bludgeon of the takedown (a.k.a self-service temporary restraining order), without really providing anything in return. And then of course they tried to go back on even that.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058822)

It would've almost certainly passed. The populace has been willing to vote for politicians that openly flaunted their opposition to basic human rights, what on Earth would make you think that something more abstract would get a no vote?

Re:Screw CSS (2, Insightful)

metiscus (1270822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059020)

People don't care about Africa but don't get between them and their Heroes season 1 dvd set.

Re:Screw CSS (2, Insightful)

BassMan449 (1356143) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058010)

I think this is the wrong attitude to take. You are conceding that the special interests are too powerful to ever get this law overturned. While I agree that that is likely the case right now, if you aren't willing to fight against it that will never change.

Are Constitution/Government was designed to make it possible to recover from this situation. If we can elect the right people (much easier said than done), it is possible to take back control of our government. We just need people to start taking a more active role in politics. In order to get special interests out of politics we need the electorate to be more responsive. If we can stop bad politicians from being able to get re-elected simply by out-spending any alternatives then we could make the money less important.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058416)

Ok, do that. But also vote against the Republicans and Democrats. Getting it repealed should never be taken off the table, and anyone who runs for Congress without that on their agenda, needs to be told that they're running on the "fuck the public" platform.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059046)

Exemptions are the new battle, and we need to get as many of them passed as we possibly can.

Exemptions are worthless because as they legitimize the act of circumvention, they do not legitimize the tools for doing so. There's no point in wasting effort fighting over worthless scraps. If the law is evil and can't be overturned or repealed, then the place to spend effort is in devising ways to violate it without getting caught.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057336)

They don't matter. All they mean is that a carrier/phone manufacturer team can't use the DMCA to go after jailbreakers and SIM-unlockers.

However:
They can still put the anti-jailbreaking and SIMlocking technical measures in place
They can still legally put in measures that "brick" phones in response to trying to defeat the above if they wish
They can still structure their service contracts in a manner such that SIM-unlocking doesn't buy you that much.
They can still structure their warranties such that if anything else goes wrong with the phone you're SOL if it's SIM-unlocked or jailbroken

Really, for iPhone users, the DMCA was probably the least of their worries if they wanted to jailbreak or remove SIMlocks.

Re:Screw CSS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057760)

They can still structure their warranties such that if anything else goes wrong with the phone you're SOL if it's SIM-unlocked or jailbroken

People keep saying this, but in practice, doing so would turn into a Magnuson Moss class action faster than you can say "What warranty terms?"

Re:Screw CSS (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057996)

To be fair, the exemption did add a provision for using very small amounts of code from the manufacturer, which is a pretty big deal for any modding community. Most of the issues that i've seen come from distribution of the code to end users, because that code usually involved a minor amount of manufacturer code (or didn't involve it and required some work on the end user's part). Now, as long as that code is small enough portion of the overall code, distribution of jailbreaking code is now less of a legal risk.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057424)

I think the author of TFA expects for the law to be written correctly, rather than made up on the fly as it is written now.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057770)

HDCP was only a nightmare when I turned my PS3 on first, THEN my TV initially after plugging it in.

Every subsequent power on, it can go on in any fashion I'd like. same with my cable box.

HDCP is like the diet coke of DRM solutions; doesn't actually solve anything and at the same time doesn't really hinder life.

OTOH, AACS is a different story.

Re:Screw CSS (2, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058630)

Just because it hasn't hindered you, doesn't mean it hasn't for anybody.

A lot of HDTV early adopters have been burned because the first generation sets don't support HDCP. So, even though your TV can do 1080p, your PS3 won't.

You can argue if that's really hindering anything since it will still play at a lower resolution, but I still think it sucks. It certainly curbed my urge to be an early adopter of anything now.

And it certainly did make piracy more difficult. Without HDCP, it would be almost trivial to make a signal capture device to capture the unencrypted video stream. As far as I know, BluRay has only been broken because of software players.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057888)

...add to this the fact that while the "exceptions" apply only to CSS...that does not in any way mean the same logic *cannot* be used to argue fair use for AACS...or whatever floats your boat.

*Way* too many people are taking this rulemaking to mean, "This is Legal...everything else is not". Problem is, that is possibly the most incorrect way to interpret this. Fair Use is not about making blanket statements like that. Fact is, any of his talk could be over-ruled in court...today. Fair Use is decided on a case-by-case basis. It does not give *any* use carte-blanche legality or illegality.

The only benefit here is that when making an argument for Fair Use that fits the statements made by the Register of Copyrights, you have some semblance of "official" backing. That's it.

It doesn't make bypassing CSS any more legal, nor does it make doing the same to AACS any less legal. It just gives you a bit more backing when arguing a certain instance falls under Fair Use.

Re:Screw CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33058320)

This has nothing to do with Fair Use, which is related to copyright infringement. This is only regarding DRM circumvention, which is a separate matter. The Library of Congress gets to specify the exemptions to that part of the law. So yeah, it does mean "This is Legal..everything else is not".

Re:Screw CSS (1)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059338)

Read the statements.

Non-infringing use = Fair Use. All 6 sections are based, 100%, on the 4 guidelines set forth by the Fair Use Doctrine.

Hell, in the register's recommendation, they list 5 factors they must examine in their determination:

(i) The availability for use of Copyrighted works;
(ii)The availability of these works for nonprofit archival, preservation, and educational purposes;
(iii) The impact that the prohibition on the circumvention of technological measures applied to copyrighted works has on criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research;
(iv) The effect of circumvention of technological measures on the market for or value of copyrighted works; and
(v) Such other factors as the Librarian considers appropriate.

Look familiar?? It should. It is the Fair Use doctrine's guidelines, almost word for word.

So, no. It doesn't make anything "legal" or "illegal". It means these specific uses were found by the Register and Librarian to fall under Fair Use and as such, be judged non-infringing.

fyi: DRM exists to protect against copyright infringement. The statement in question is *littered* with references to copyright, infringement, and non-infringing uses. So yeah, it *is* about copyright. In fact, that is *all* it is about.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057910)

It's stupid is what it is, and they know that it's stupid. They're basically saying that we know there's a good reason that consumers want to break DRM, ans what's more we agree that it's a good reason and you should be able to break the DRM, but we're still only going to let you do it on outdated tech.

Re:Screw CSS (1)

sbma44 (694130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059054)

My point is that *in practice* the specifics of the exemptions don't matter. They establish a foothold, and a gray zone of consumer use in which even tools that violate the DMCA are available. Put another way: how many people reading this thread will now be ripping DVDs that weren't before Monday's announcement?

Yes, the law matters, and no, it's not good to break it. But the point is that the DMCA's mechanisms create a situation where consumers aren't prosecuted for circumventing DRM, but rights-holders are still empowered to suppress innovation. It's a strange, muddy situation, and an inappropriate way to run a legal system.

With that said, those who point out that the DMCA is unlikely to change through legislative action are of course correct; the article makes an argument, but it's not a call to action. At this point the courts and increasingly-broad exemptions are the best hope for improving the legal situation created by the DMCA.

Much More To The Point (5, Insightful)

jra (5600) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057198)

The 5th Circuit ruled the other day that "circumvention" isn't a "crime" *if you're doing it in order to exercise rights you already have -- like watching a movie you bought, or sharing a clip of it with your students as Fair Use...

or doing a Downfall parody, presumably.

Even *more* to the point; this means that jailbreaking your iPhone isn't "a crime"... but it does *not* mean Apple's forced to support you now, when they would have cut you off before.

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

jra (5600) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057212)

I believe this wlil cover the AACP and HDCP issues mentioned above.

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

bannable (1605677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057224)

But what about when Sony claims we only bought a license to view their movie? We're still left with encrypted movies we aren't able to backup....

Re:Much More To The Point (2, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057350)

You sue for false advertising... "Own it Today!!!"

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

bannable (1605677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058044)

Disclaimer: "it" is defined as the license to view, listen, and otherwise enjoy our content. Void where prohibited.

Re:Much More To The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33058512)

Disclaimer: "it" is defined as the license to view and listen to our content. Void where prohibited.

FTFY, they don't want to give us any more rights than they have to.

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059078)

great, so then i can get a replacement disk, or download it on the internets, or .. or ... as long as i bought a bluray copy right? I mean it is the highest quality copy around, and I did just by a license to "view, listen, and otherwise enjoy" Cars(tm) in some ways I would rather buy a 1 time forever in all formats license to movies/music/etc at ${QUALITYLEVEL} or lower. Would make me format shifting 100% legal, and downloading it(if i have proof of purchase(say a retail copy) legal.

citation needed (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058378)

But what about when Sony claims we only bought a license to view their movie?

Not trying to be a smartass with the "citation needed" here, but actually want it. Does anyone have any recent (less than 10 years old) statements from movie or music publishers where they've asserted that they sell licenses rather than copies of the movies? All I know of is the Blizzard case (but that's games, not movies).

As others have mentioned, the movie people are advertising with "own it now," and it would be pretty funny (in a Daily Show kind of way) to catch their left hand (sales dept) and right hand (legal dept) blatantly contradicting each other.

Re:Much More To The Point (2, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057494)

Yeah, I remember reading about that ruling. I remember my first thought being "ok, if that's applied universally then what does the anti-circumvention clause actually mean?" So far I haven't been able to find a solid answer to that question, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that particular ruilng overturned sooner or later. I don't know how it is in the lower courts, but the Supreme Court isn't supposed to allow an interpretation that renders part of the statute meaningless.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see anti-circumvention struck down entirely; but barring a constitutional problem that would have to come from the legislature, not the courts.

Re:Much More To The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057538)

Not all circumvention is done to exercise rights we already have. A lot of people circumvent protection methods in order to illegally infringe copyright.

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058318)

Which simply means that anti-circumvention is a redundant provision in the law. Infringing copyright is against the law either way, so why do we need another provision on top of that?

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058706)

ok, if that's applied universally then what does the anti-circumvention clause actually mean?

The judge said the anti-circumvention provision can only apply to what is protected by the Copyright Act. i.e. DMCA doesn't on its own extend outside of the bounds of the copyright law. What does this mean? To me it means (IANAL, not a legal advice):

If you are circumventing but not violating copyright, you are clear.

If you are circumventing and violating copyright, you are on hook for at least 2 violations:
- DMCA anti-circumvention
- Copyright infringement

Disclaimer: IANAL, this is not a legal advice, consult your lawyer.

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058724)

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see anti-circumvention struck down entirely; but barring a constitutional problem that would have to come from the legislature, not the courts.

Not necessarily, fair-use is codified, and where the law conflicts, it's up to the judiciary to sort it out. I wouldn't hold my breath for SCOTUS to overturn the anti-circumvention statute, but it doesn't have to raise a constitutional issue to be brought up.

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059290)

Two things:

First, there isn't an inherant conflict in the law between fair use and anti-circumvention. Even before the DMCA, fair use only meant "it isn't infringement to do X, Y, and Z"; it never meant that content providers were required to make it easy for you to do X, Y, and Z, nor that other provisions of law couldn't make it harder to do X, Y, and Z. Anti-circumvention under the DMCA makes it harder to do X, Y, and Z; but that doesn't conflict in a legal sense with X, Y, and Z not being copyright infringement.

Second, while it would be legitimate for the courts to resolve conflicts in the statutes, they still are supposed to do so in a way that doesn't render either of the conflicting clauses moot. Basically, they are interpreting; they get to figure out what they think Congress meant, but one of the rules is that they have to assume Congress meant something in every instance.

Re:Much More To The Point (1, Interesting)

BassMan449 (1356143) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058106)

The problem is that the law states otherwise. Technically this ruling should be sound as what we call "fair use" is simply the First Amendment restricting copyright. However, it is still very possible this ruling could be overturned. DMCA 1201 (a)(3)

(A) to circumvent a technological measure means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner;

By the reading of the law, circumvention, even for fair use, is illegal. The only way around that is through the First Amendment and "fair use". But "fair use" is only a defense if you are actually sued so even with this ruling it is still likely illegal and you could still get screwed by one judge with a different interpretation.

Re:Much More To The Point (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058364)

or doing a Downfall parody, presumably.

Cue the Downfall parody [youtube.com] in which Hitler finds out that Downfall parodies have been removed from Youtube.

Re:Much More To The Point (1)

kevlar3d (1866218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059172)

Is this ruling relevant to console modding?

There is a practical upshot (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057202)

Any developer who wants to work on jailbreaks and do so publicly, with presentations and writing, can do so without fear of prosecution. Companies can also now get involved without fear of supporting something illegal. If Mozilla wanted to release a Firefox for the the jailbroken iPhone, they now can.

Re:There is a practical upshot (2, Informative)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057662)

Um, no.

While you have a right to jailbreak your phone, or break CSS on your movie (for certain purposes), it is not clear that you have the right to distribute tools to allow others to do the same. If you do this openly you might ultimately prevail in court, but you should definitely plan on being sued, because this issue has not been settled.

Re:There is a practical upshot (1)

jra (5600) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057788)

Well, in fact, it probably is: it's only "criminal" to distribute tools to help other people "break laws".

Which this decision makes clear you are *not* doing by jailbreaking. Since *me jailbreaking my phone* is no longer a "crime", then you're not contributing to one by publishing such tools.

QED.

Re:There is a practical upshot (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058332)

According to the DMCA [cornell.edu] ;

(2) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that—
(A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;
(B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title; or
(C) is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person’s knowledge for use in circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

The question is, first, whether the DVD or the cell phone is still "protected under this title." You could probably make the case that cell phone OSs no longer are, so if you're distributing jailbreak tools you're off the hook. So you're probably right on that count.

On the other hand, it's not so clear with DVDs, which is odd since the tools are so much more readily available. The LOC's exemption for DVDs is pretty narrow, so you'd have to argue that DeCSS, for example, is primarily designed to crack exempt DVDs. This, I think, is a harder case to make, not least of all because DeCSS was developed long before any exemptions were granted. If you work at a store specializing in preparing educational films, you're probably in good shape giving educators a copy of DeCSS. If, on the other hand, you are a guy with a mirror on the internet that says: this code can crack the protection on any DVD for any purpose, you're probably still in hot water.

Finally, if you're working on cracking AACS and the MPAA gets a hold of you you're definitely SOL.

What do they say a phone is? any thing that can be (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057216)

What do they say a phone is? any thing that can be used as one? any thing with a phone jack? / slot for a modem?

How far does jail breaking go? How about using a PAYED FOR COPY OS X on any pc?

Re:What do they say a phone is? any thing that can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057738)

What do they say a phone is? any thing that can be used as one? any thing with a phone jack? / slot for a modem?

How far does jail breaking go? How about using a PAYED FOR COPY OS X on any pc?

Don't you have to delete "Don't Steal Mac OS X.kext" to install Mac OS X on a non-Mac? That seems to imply that Apple is asking you to pause for a moment to think about what you are doing, but ultimately lets you make the decision you want to make. That doesn't seem to be an unreasonable stance to me.

Re:What do they say a phone is? any thing that can (1)

jra (5600) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057802)

Did they *really*? Wow; I didn't actually expect Apple to be that cool, anymore.

People are buying OSX and putting it on there syst (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057834)

People are buying OSX and putting it on there systems.

I don't like the screen in the imac and the mini is too small. The mac pro is about $1000+ over priced. Now Is mac os x $1000?? why not make it $200? Why not have a $1200 - $1500 tower?

whats next apple saying that the price of app store is part of the cost of the system and puting a don't bypass the app store file on the iphone that you need to get rid of to jailbreak it.

Re:What do they say a phone is? any thing that can (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057754)

The law is clear. The text is something along the lines of 'mobile cellular phone'. Also, jailbreaking is specifically in the context of cellphones, involving making said devices interoperable. It has nothing to do with PCs, and jailbreaking has nothing to do with violating the OS X EULA.

well this sucks (2, Funny)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057264)

Now that it's legal, it's no where near as much fun...

In Soviet Russia (0)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057300)

DMCA exempts you!!!!!

(frost piss)

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057322)

Hm, damn the Get More Comments button, it just doesn't work. No frost piss for you.

In America.. (1, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057436)

If the majority of Americans ignore a law, then that law is wrong.

Re:In America.. (0, Troll)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057488)

I disagree. In a free country, if the majority of citizens ignore a law, then that law is wrong. In America, if the majority of citizens ignore a law or think it is wrong, the citizens are wrong. You are assuming America is still a free country, and I disagree with that.

Re:In America.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057642)

Sort of a moot point, since most people obey all the provisions of the law in question.

Re:In America.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057942)

If the majority of Americans ignore a law, then that law is wrong.

This is terrible logic. Most people don't drive at the speed limit, are the speed limits wrong? No. Just because people ignore something doesn't make it wrong.

Re:In America.. (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058232)

No, your logic is terrible.

// But the straw man thanks you for the stroke job you just gave him.

Re:In America.. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#33059326)

Most people don't drive at the speed limit, are the speed limits wrong?

Yes. Local governments routinely lower speed limits, or rapidly change the speed limit on different sections of road as a way to encourage speeding so that they can get more fine money. As it is now, speed limits are not set by engineers who have the technical expertise to set safe speed limits, they are set by politicians who probably barely passed trig in 10th grade.

If the safe drivable speed of a road is higher than the speed limit, then the speed limit is wrong.

Next question?

Re:In America.. (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058154)

Now we just need Sammy Hagar to write a song about it [wikipedia.org] .

Re:In America.. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058220)

If the majority of Americans ignore a law, then that law is wrong.

How many phones are actually "jailbroken?"

I doubt the numbers keep anyone at AT&T or Apple awake at night. The same can probably be said about the full litany of complaints the geek has about DRM.

It's far too easy to become convinced that you are in the majority, when all you really have is a chance to gripe on a forum like Slashdot.

The problem (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057566)

The problem with DMCA rulemaking is that it's made by bureaucrats, not elected representatives, and the small concessions that we got recently may be taken back at any time

- seanmichelson@yahoo.com

What a retárd (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33057866)

On July 26 the librarian of Congress announced six ways you can legally violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Somebody is not clear on the meaning of the terms "legally" and "violate."

Exactly -- if you must keep it, emend the DMCA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057926)

The article is right. "Exemptions" are missing the point.

Emend the law so that if what you're doing isn't otherwise illegal (e.g., you're copying something in a way that qualifies as "fair use", or you're making it "interoperable" in the sense of the law), then the anti-circumvention provisions don't apply. Period. This is the way it should have been in the first place. The current set up is as if it's illegal to break the locks to get into your own car.

On the other hand, if what you are doing is illegal, then the penalties will be higher if you're circumventing a technical protection measure in order to do it. I have no problem with that.

Then copyright holders can go after potential infringers and leave it up to the courts to decide whether the action was infringing or not, and the rest of us who just want to USE our LEGALLY PURCHASED stuff can get on with it.

CSS hack distro distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33057936)

With the exemption that apply to the CSS, will it be possible now to include it legally in a Linux distribution ?

OOTB DVD support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33058008)

Does this court decision allow Linux distros to include out-of-the-box support for DVD playback on their Live/installation CD's now? That would be very sweet if it did.

I don't think.... (1)

NetNed (955141) | more than 4 years ago | (#33058162)

I don't think people who have jailbroken their iphone really care if it is legal or not. They just want the functionality that apple won't give them till the next pay-for-OS upgrade or next iphone model. Legality? Who gives a shit?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?