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Copyright Office Asks For Public Comments On DMCA

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the only-felons-watch-movies dept.

United States 194

krygny writes "A number of news sites (ZDnet, theregister) are reporting that the US Copyright Office is accepting feedback on the affects of the DMCA. While it's unlikley to prompt changes in the law, lucid and valid anectdotes of how fair use of certain materials is infriged upon, may help determine the degree and nature of enforcement."

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who sent (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448424)

you sent for me

g to the oatse
c to the izzex

DMCA (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448438)

Thanks for restricting our freedom. I'll start playing with guns instead.

Write! (5, Interesting)

Vote Libertarian! (613074) | about 12 years ago | (#4448442)

Tell these people that you will vote Libertarian only until these tyrannical laws are abolished! These politicians only understand the vote count. It's the only way to change things.

Vote Libertarian!

Re:Write! qjkx (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448590)

I see you're already posting from score 0. Maybe you can be less overt about the politics and just put in in a .sig. I would sure like to see a libertarian posting at slashdot (well, one that proudly proclaims it). As for the topic, clearly enforcing IP falls outside of the role of limited government.

Just vote. (5, Informative)

gpinzone (531794) | about 12 years ago | (#4448611)

All we have to do is simply get people to vote, period. Politicians only listen to people that vote for them and/or give them money. That basically means that they listen to only a small minority of the population. My philosphy used to be "if you're stupid enough not to vote, then your opinions don't count." I still don't disagree with that idea, it's just that politicians no longer look to comprimise. They just play to their particular base of supporters that gaurentee them a vote. The only solution is to make it a law that every citizen MUST vote.

Re:Just vote. (3, Insightful)

Yokaze (70883) | about 12 years ago | (#4448974)

> The only solution is to make it a law that every citizen MUST vote.

Think about it. How would that improve the situation?
Dee Em See Ay? Lower Taxes!!!
The difference would be that a small politically interested minority would be even smaller, and would even more dominated by the "dumb masses".
Don't get me wrong I'm a democrat. I'm against any regulation which puts restrictions on who should able to vote, or how much a vote counts. In my opinion, children should be allowed to vote, too.
But to choose not to vote, is in a way a vote, too.
It's a statement: I do not know enough, or do not care enough to vote. (Which in my opinion is the same)

Wouldn't it be better to encourage people to vote by giving them a better political education? Or giving the votes more weight by shifting the political power more to local administrations?

BTW, I voted every election I could and consider it as one of the responsibilities of a citizen. But responsibility cannot be enforced.
(Disclaimer: IANAA)

Re:Write! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448839)

NO !!, Vote Green !!!, no vote Socialist !!! No, vote anything other than Democrat or Republican !!!

Re:Write! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448890)

Voting libertarian will just make the party you disfavor least lose.

Instead try to change people's feelings about issues, and make them feel passionately the same way you do. If each person can just convince 2 others, eventually the ideas of digital freedom will appear in the polls and the politicans will cater to those feelings.

VOTE! (1)

br0ken2o0o (569914) | about 12 years ago | (#4448912)

Yes we all must vote Librarian! Just don't let us in Florida vote or you'll end up waiting 5 months for us Floridians to finish counting! ;)

Libertarian, POOIE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448956)

Our Libertarian candidate for governer in Massachusetts made the brain dead comment that the Government has never done anything worthwhile with all of our tax dollars. While I agree that our government is too large and wastes a lot of money the Libertarian alternative is wreckless dreaming. It is as braindead as Communism is.

For example here is something that wouldn't exist without the largesse of the Government: TCP/IP and the INTERNET which was funded by the Department of Defense and was a secret network for a long time until it was released into the public domain (because they discovered how insecure it is)

Libertarians are zeolots living in a dream world of no government. GROW UP.

YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448961)

Until you change these laws, I will cast my vote in such a way that it will appear as though I didn't vote at all!

Take THAT!

Re:Write! (2)

0x0d0a (568518) | about 12 years ago | (#4448966)

These politicians only understand the vote count.

Which is the largest flaw in your own argument. A Libertarian candidate is simply not going to win. If you're pissed off with a Republican and vote Dem, they have a much more serious chance of going under.

You're effectively halving your political power -- you decrease the number of votes the candidate you don't like gets, but you are not able to increase the number of votes the candidate that *would* beat him will get, so you cost him one vote instead of two.

Posting comments here won't cut it. (5, Insightful)

macdaddy357 (582412) | about 12 years ago | (#4448447)

We all enjoy posting comments here, but they won't be read by the copyright office. Carefully craft your words, and write them.

Re:Posting comments here won't cut it. (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | about 12 years ago | (#4448484)

But now the site will be slashdotted and nobody will be able to post comments.

At last, I know Hilary Rosen's slashdot alias [] !

Re:Posting comments here won't cut it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448589)

Yeah, like the copyright office gives a shit about comments written by people. All it cares about is big donation money from powerful corporations. Democracy is dead.

Re:Posting comments here won't cut it. (5, Insightful)

El_Nofx (514455) | about 12 years ago | (#4448617)

Ya, and someone should remind us all on the 19th of November when they actually do start letting us comment, most /.ers have a memory like a fruit fly.

Re:Posting comments here won't cut it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448968)

"most /.ers have a memory like a fruit fly."

I wonder why that is... where's that bong... now, what were we talking about?

Re:Posting comments here won't cut it. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448691)

Please see for guidelines on content and format of acceptable submissions.

Slashdot won't post it themselves, but... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448449)

They're in The New York Times [] ... and in a favorable story!

Completely offtopic, I know... but still interesting!

Re:Slashdot won't post it themselves, but... (3, Funny)

John Biggabooty (591838) | about 12 years ago | (#4448496)

An article in the New York Times? Now Slashdot will get Slashdotted!

Re:Slashdot won't post it themselves, but... (0, Offtopic)

MImeKillEr (445828) | about 12 years ago | (#4448612)

Yeah, I submitted this myself. I was shocked to see that it was rejected.

I guess /. doesn't want to toot its own horn. Why they'd adopt this policy now is beyond me. Hasn't stopped them in the past!

Then again, maybe they didn't want to piss us all off by linking to a site that requires reg to read..

Two words (-1, Offtopic)

mustangdavis (583344) | about 12 years ago | (#4448451)

Online auctions!!!!

Ummm... (1, Offtopic)

jgerman (106518) | about 12 years ago | (#4448457)

... make sure you don't start your comments like so:

The AFFECTS of the DMCA...

Instead try:

The EFFECTS of the DMCA...

It'll will probably make you look a little more intelligent.

Seriously though, we (well, we meaning those of us who oppose the DMCA) should be all over this. It's important to make your voice heard through every avenue that is made available, as well as those that aren't.

Re:Ummm... (5, Funny)

miltimj (605927) | about 12 years ago | (#4448487)

It'll will probably make you look a little more intelligent.

It'll certainly will.

Re:Ummm... (2)

jgerman (106518) | about 12 years ago | (#4448526)

lol, I knew I should have previewed my post ;) Oh well, I'll have to take solace in the fact that posting is an informal form of communication as opposed to front page stories.

Re:Ummm... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448582)

I think it's one of the universal laws of the universe that anyone criticizing another's spelling or grammar has to make a similar mistake in their post. :)

Re:Ummm... (1)

miltimj (605927) | about 12 years ago | (#4448639)

I'm glad you took that in jest -- no harm intended, and apparently none taken. :-)

Re:Ummm... (0, Offtopic)

oRiCN (21089) | about 12 years ago | (#4448702)

You can get away with affects...

affect1 Pronunciation Key (-fkt)
tr.v. affected, affecting, affects
To have an influence on or effect a change in: Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
To attack or infect, as a disease: Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448878)

Um.. no, a transitive verb cannot be used as a noun, unless you are talking about the word "affects", itself.

Dont be so hard on the poster ... (3, Insightful)

Snork Asaurus (595692) | about 12 years ago | (#4448893)

because it's probably a medical condition. In the northern hemisphere, the days are getting longer. This is when some people start to experience "Seasonal Effective Disorder".

On the comments to the DMCA issue: people of the United States, please take the opportunity to provide constructive inputs that will help to effect positive change a DEEPLY flawed piece of legislation that currently serves the interests of powerful corporations at the expense of the little guy. You have a voice - those of us outside your borders are affected by the DMCA but have no effective voice.

We already KNOW! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448466)

Is it just me or is there a larger number of repeat stories on Slashdot lately?

Re:We already KNOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448693)

Is it just me or is there a larger number of repeat stories on Slashdot lately?

Nice to see (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448470)

My submission:
I listen to my music on my computer. I like to load up several hours worth of music then just ignore it.

If we are only able to play music directly off the CD then I will loose the ability to do this.

Re:Nice to see (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448619)

It's "lose," not "loose," fucktard.

CD Changer (1)

Smallest (26153) | about 12 years ago | (#4448629)

go down to best buy and spend $100 on a cheap 5-disk CD changer - you can even get one with shuffle. it's much cheaper than a PC, and doesn't run you afoul of any copyright laws.


Re:CD Changer - Nope.... (1)

br0ken2o0o (569914) | about 12 years ago | (#4448941)

Well, If you think about it like this, You already have a computer, You Don't have a CD-Changer... Which one is the cheaper of the 2 again? Just asking

Re:CD Changer (2, Informative)

ccady (569355) | about 12 years ago | (#4448946)

You already have the right to copy your own CDs. Copying them onto your hard drive is legal. (Sharing them with thousands of others is not.) The RIAA is trying to convince you otherwise.

I don't want to spend $100 on another electronic device. I want to use the PC I already own.

As Cher said "They're my tits. If I want them put on my back, that's my business."

Re:Nice to see (1)

ccady (569355) | about 12 years ago | (#4448895)

I like to ignore my music, too. 'Specially Britney and Raffi.

Let's not shoot ourselves in the collective feet (5, Interesting)

Illserve (56215) | about 12 years ago | (#4448471)

The surest way to ensure the DMCA is repealed is to have it interpreted in the strictest and most rigorous sense.

Having the DMCA interpreted with a lenient bent is like having the constitution amended to allow "just a little" slavery.

If we truly want all or nothing vis a vis the DMCA, let's not plead for a lenient interpretation.

Re:Let's not shoot ourselves in the collective fee (1)

mbakunin (258573) | about 12 years ago | (#4448494)

Having the Librarian of Congress gut it completely by exempting all works that could be subject to the 'fair use' doctrine -- i.e., all works -- would be a nice end run.

Note, folks: comment period via website starts 19. November, not today.

Re:Let's not shoot ourselves in the collective fee (2)

mshiltonj (220311) | about 12 years ago | (#4448736)

Having the DMCA interpreted with a lenient bent is like having the constitution amended to allow "just a little" slavery.

You mean like the 16th Amendment?

Let the flooding begin.. (-1, Flamebait)

DCram (459805) | about 12 years ago | (#4448477)

I hope these people don't have virgin ears cuz the responses are likely to include..yes..profanity.

Either that or the script kiddies will l33t the hell out of there responses and they wont count for shit.

Copyright office (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448479)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

write as an adult - respectful comments please (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448480)

Since you are trying to convince the feds to
treat copyright as a limited thing, please write
comments as an adult and be respectful

Re:write as an adult - respectful comments please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4449122)

What!? You mean I should just throw away my letter that begins:

R3: dm(@

d00d, ! @m @ 1337 h@x0r.

Wow... (3, Funny)

Osiris Ani (230116) | about 12 years ago | (#4448481)

UserFriendly [] actually beat Slashdot to this one by a couple of days. Will wonders never cease?

Re:Wow... (2, Informative)

dangit (539753) | about 12 years ago | (#4448537)

Actually, Slashdot beat Slashdot to this a couple of days ago.

See: This news post []

Will wonders ever cease?

Re:Wow... (5, Funny)

Orne (144925) | about 12 years ago | (#4448541)

Even Slashdot [] beat Slashdot to the story abou... wait a minute...

Vent then bend over (4, Insightful)

nightsweat (604367) | about 12 years ago | (#4448482)

While I'm certain some sort of minor repeal of the DMCA will come about, I'm also certain that the partial repeal will take effect about ten minutes before another more restrictive bill called something like "The Save America From Terror Act" will go into effect, putting all the DMCA restrictions plus more new ones in place.

This is just a chance to vent so you can feel like you actually had a hand in the process. The only real hands in the process, of course, belong to the hands with dollar bills in them, headed for political coffers.

Why don't you just kill yourself? qjkx (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448559)

Please summon all your negativity and use it to kill yourself. In the real world, IP laws are destined to die (as well as money itself). You would have made such a great slave a few centuries back.

Re:Why don't you just kill yourself? qjkx (1)

nightsweat (604367) | about 12 years ago | (#4449061)

Money itself is destined to die?
In a cosmic, "in a million years we'll all be dead" sort of way, maybe. In the real world, in our lifetimes, I doubt it.

Human beings need to keep score. As pack animals societal status is important to us, and distribution of resources is difficult. Money and monetarism does a good job of handling both problems. It doesn't do an ideal job, but it gives us a good handle to approach the problems.

And if you really believe what you say, put a name to your posts.

Re:Vent then bend over (5, Insightful)

badnews_bear (607583) | about 12 years ago | (#4448573)

While I agree with you in that the only people who have their hands in this are the ones with the bills (read: dollar) in their hands, we cannot continue to think that way. The idea that the only people who are making the laws are the ones with the the money or the ones who can give the money to the lawmakers is false logic. It is only that way because we, the people, LET it get that way. I said this before, but I feel that it bears repeating until everyone gets it in their heads. You can make a difference in this. QUIT BUYING MUSIC. See how long the DMCA lasts against a consumer strike on digital goods (read: CD's). And yes, I can bitch because I no longer buy music of any sort (nor do I download it)....

Re:Vent then bend over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448747)


I'm so sick of hearing "corperations run washington"

Corps run washington because people want it to be that way, express yourself to your congress critters more eloquently than the corps and you would be suprized how well you get your point across.

Every person in washington I have expressed a valid well writen letter to has ended up clearly taking my opinion into consideration, perhaps your critters are diffrent, but where I come from next elections votes are more important than this elections cash.

Re:Vent then bend over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448927)

A boycott by a small minority of geeks will do nothing. A slightly larger boycott would lower their sales and give them a stronger arguing position to congress. The only way to fight them is to fight for your digital rights by speaking out, giving to the EFF, and hoping a champion will appear to lead a digital freedom movement.

Unfortunately, no.... (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 12 years ago | (#4448990)

A large enough boycott of music would only further their beliefs that they are losing sales due to theft, whether or not they actually have proof of the latter occurring. This will only result yet more mecahnisms being put into place further restricting our ability to excercise fair use, which, interestingly enough, according to the very text of the DMCA itself, it wasn't actually supposed to affect -- but of course, it does.

Really (5, Funny)

CodeWheeney (314094) | about 12 years ago | (#4448495)

I know, this is Karma whoring, but:

lucid and valid anectdotes?

From Slashdot?

Re:Really (4, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | about 12 years ago | (#4448618)

lucid and valid anectdotes?

From Slashdot?

Which is the point, I think, for the gentle reminder from krygny.

One would hope that any person from Slashdot would think about thier response and make it palletable for the masses, instead of just allowing thier feelings about the DMCA to come to the fore un-abated. Your opinions will be on public display if you choose to respond, so please keep the invective for Slashdot comments, not on a site whose audience won't be so tolerant of trolling. There's no moderators out there, after all.


Would you comment on a slavery law? qjkx (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448498)

All IP is very like slavery in that it is illogical and destined to be a thing of the past. We need the complete abolishment of all IP, and we should accept no less. There is no compromise.

Undermines democracy. (4, Insightful)

Trusty Penfold (615679) | about 12 years ago | (#4448511)

You should let your elected representitives represent you in legal & governmental issues. If you have to get involved with every trivial decision that gets made then you will soon lose patience. It will only be the extreme members of society that will influence decision making - and then where will we be?

Re:Undermines democracy. (2)

scott1853 (194884) | about 12 years ago | (#4448665)

It will only be the extreme members of society that will influence decision making

You mean the way it is now? *cough* Ashcroft.

Re:Undermines democracy. -- No, It Doesn't (2)

reallocate (142797) | about 12 years ago | (#4448860)

Huh? This isn't a failed attempt at irony, is it?

Some of us don't think the DMCA is a trivial issue, regardless of our different opinions about copyright and intellectual property.

If you don't make sure your representatives know what you think, they have no option but to pay attention to the people who do make their wishes known. If everyone gives up and shuts up, then the corporations, special interests and lobbyists have the field all to themselves.

If your representative loses patience with you and shuffles you out of the office, write it up, send it to the local media, post it on a website, and make sure the other party knows about it.

Your idea undermines democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448973)

fuck you. what if my unelected representative (cough bush) doesn't agree with me. I'll put my two cents in where and when I want.
It will only be the extreme members of society that will influence decision making - and then where will we be? we'll be where we are now, where the opinions of the *people* whom this government is supposed to *serve* are ignored. Our government is far from what it was envisioned to be by the founding fathers, and I think they'd all throw up if they were here right now. My room mate just made more of that tuna helper shit. i think I'M going to throw up. god damn, why would you ever want to COOK tuna. omg.

Re:Undermines democracy. (2)

ichimunki (194887) | about 12 years ago | (#4449024)

Where will we be? Same place? I dunno. You tell me.

For my part I will continue to write to my representatives, the President, cabinet members, agency heads, and even judges, should I feel I have something to say that I think they ought to hear. This is the only way it is even possible for them to represent me, by me telling them what positions are important to me. If I don't tell them that, they'd have to guess. Then where will we be?

/. has a few things to say... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448518)

We [] Might [] Have [] Some [] Problems [] With [] It. []

Bush's Impeachment WILL Be Televised +1 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448525)

Kick out the jams, motherf$ckers!!

Read more about the 10 point program here:
MC5 []

This is a repeat (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448528)

This article is a repeat of this one [] .

Re:This is a repeat : Editors should watch out... (2, Informative)

bsdparasite (569618) | about 12 years ago | (#4448588)

Looks like everyone who criticizes /. gets a bashing when it comes to the articles themselves. Several stories are repeated, like the one with life on Venus.
First article []
And another one []
Obviously the editors accept certain stories without question as long as it's about the DMCA or aliens. And I will be modded down for this. I know.

Re:This is a repeat (2)

octalgirl (580949) | about 12 years ago | (#4448625)

Ok, so we just did this. But no one really posted anything concrete that we could write and complain about. So this is a second chance - they are looking for valid complaints of how the DMCA is infringing on whatever. What should be exempted from this law? Why? A clever little test really, and if we can't come up with any serious cases that qualify for exemptment, then they will just ignore the rest. So anyone????

What good will this really do? (5, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | about 12 years ago | (#4448535)

I mean, the Copyright Office doesn't enforce anything. That's the job of the executive branch: the FBI, the DOJ, etc. They can, and do, enforce whatever laws they want to enforce, and in any way they want to (depending, of course, on the instructions they receive from their corporate masters).

So how can writing up and sending in your thoughts about the DMCA to the Copyright Office have any more effect on anything related to the DMCA than posting to Slashdot?

It's not like most members of Congress are going to listen to these comments, since they owe their allegience to the corporations and not the people...

Re:What good will this really do? (3, Insightful)

quitcherbitchen (587409) | about 12 years ago | (#4448602)

Any opportunity for public comment is a good thing. This is the way democracy gets its voice.

Draft up your opinons intelligently and give them to everyone who is willing to accept. The drops in the bucket are supposed to mount up to something.

Re:What good will this really do? (5, Informative)

reallocate (142797) | about 12 years ago | (#4448645)

Here's a passage from the Copyright Office's notice:

"The Copyright Office is preparing to conduct proceedings mandated by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which provides that the Librarian of Congress may exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The purpose of this rulemaking proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention."

The Copyright Office can, within a rather limited scope, define exceptions to the DMCA.

Might want to read up on the Copyright office... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448861)

From the website of the CO:

The Office of the Register of Copyrights
The Register of Copyrights serves the nation by providing advice to Congress, drafting legislation, preparing technical studies, and administering the copyright law.

Jeez. Not EVERYTHING falls cleanly into executive, legislative, and judicial.

Oh and BTW.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448901)

The FBI can't change laws. Hell, they almost never have flexibility in what they do and don't enforce. They are just enforcers. Convincing the FBI of anything will do you no good which you state yourself with your own barely literate words.

Either Congress needs to knock down their own law now (unlikely), the President could have vetoed the law (too late), or the Supreme Court will rule against it or send it back to the lower courts for reconsideration (somewhat likely, but not a foregone conclusion).

Re:What good will this really do? (1)

Ironpoint (463916) | about 12 years ago | (#4448994)

"That's the job of the executive branch: the FBI, the DOJ"

From the looks of it, the entertainment industry thinks its the job of the RIAA and MPAA branch. NON-law enforcement organizations that are blatantly ludicrous enough to demand powers of search and seizure without a court order (something REAL police can't do). They must have the silly gas down there in Hollyweird.

Ummmm, repeat? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448546) [] []

Not until November 19, 2002 (5, Informative)

sdo1 (213835) | about 12 years ago | (#4448549)

The Copyright Office page [] says "Electronic submissions may be made through this website beginning Nov. 19, 2002, through Dec. 18."

That's more than a month away. That'll slip right off my radar screen unless I have a reminder.

Put it in your PDA. In your favorite scheduling software. In you little black book. On your fridge. Whatever you like, but do it NOW. This is a really good way for the evils of the DMCA to be entered into record, even if (for now) it's just a formality.


Re:Not until November 19, 2002 (3, Funny)

tato (and tato only) (525054) | about 12 years ago | (#4448889)

Don't worry. Like all slashdot stories this will repeat every week or so.

the REASON for these submissions... (4, Insightful)

forevermore (582201) | about 12 years ago | (#4448555)

... is not to repeal the DMCA, but if you read that first paragraph, they want to see if there are certain TYPES of work that should be exempted from the current broad coverage of the DMCA.

The problem with this is that the items many of us feel should be exempted are exactly the types of things that the DMCA was enacted to "protect" (cd's, dvd's, etc), and it would be very unlikely that the government would do anything to change that in such a "minor" alteration of the act.

Re:the REASON for these submissions... (3, Insightful)

reallocate (142797) | about 12 years ago | (#4448746)

>> ...items many of us feel should be exempted are exactly the types of things that the DMCA was enacted to "protect"...unlikely that the government would do anything to change that.

There's a lot of cynicism expressed here about Congress being in the pocket of rich corporation, which ususally results in a "what's the use?" attitude.

Perhaps I'm naive, but it seems to me that the one thing even crooked politicians want more than money is to be reelected. If those of us who oppose the DMCA convince even a few incumbent Congresspersons that their reelection is at risk because of their stand on the DMCA, we might see some movement in the right direction. A few Libertarian candidate for House seats are speaking out against the DMCA, but we can expect their impact to be almost nil.

This would require demonstrating to mainstream voters -- those ordinary folks ofted derisively referred to as "users" -- why the DMCA threatens them and why this one issue, by itself, merits changing their vote.

Re:the REASON for these submissions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448947)

I think the Constitution should be amended to provide for a tricameral legislature: the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the House of Plutocrats. Ban all contributions over $100 from individuals to the campaigns of legislators in the first two, but allow unlimited spending in HoP races. Allocation of seats can be based on NYSE/NASDAQ market cap. What do you think?

Re:the REASON for these submissions... (2, Insightful)

program21 (469995) | about 12 years ago | (#4448954)

This would require demonstrating to mainstream voters -- those ordinary folks ofted derisively referred to as "users" -- why the DMCA threatens them and why this one issue, by itself, merits changing their vote.

And therein lies the problem. First, one would have to muster up enough people voting (hard in and of itself), and THEN convince them why the DMCA is bad. (or do that in reverse, I'm not sure which would work better).
We (most /. readers) understand the impact of the DMCA. Most ordinary people don't, and now the *AAs are planning to try and reach out to those people and effectively tell them the DMCA is good (not directly, mind you, but they'll get their shots in). Like it or not, the RIAA and MPAA have a huge advantage - money. They can advertise 'copying is bad' all over the place, it's a lot harder for the average /. reader to reach an the same audience with their message ('copying has legit uses, illegal copying is bad' or whatever it is they'd say).

what to exempt.... (5, Insightful)

Alcimedes (398213) | about 12 years ago | (#4448592)

let's see. i want cd's out of there. then movies.


i like to listen to cd's on my computer. sadly enough, my monitor is larger than my TV, so i watch movies on there too.

if it's already illegal to make and sell copies of these cd's and movies anyway, what the hell is the DMCA doing other than stifling research into useful apps. for everyday folks.

if someone is making an illegal copy and selling it, throw them in jail. there have been laws in place to do this for years.

reminds me of people who want to create more restrictive gun laws. problem is no one is enforcing the ones that we already have.

does it make you feel any better that the criminal broke 17 laws to shoot your ass instead of 15 laws?

didn't think so.

same with this. if it's already illegal to mass produce and sell these cd's/movies, what's the DMCA really doing anyway?

Fair use (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 12 years ago | (#4448601)

I must be able to buy a movie on a DVD and play this movie on a computer of my choice under operating system of my choice. If I choose to play the movie under some distribution of open source operating system, or any GNU (free software) operating system I must be able to do so. DMCA makes it impossible to legally play my DVD under GNU/Linux for example, since MPAA will not allow a license for DVD player software to be distributed under GNU; DMCA makes it illegal to reverse engineer DVD format.



Doesn't the DMCA allow reverse engineering for compatibility, for example to allow playing of a DVD on a Linux operating system-driven personal computer?


The DMCA does allow reverse engineering. However, the reverse engineering provisions in the DMCA were never intended to enable anyone to circumvent technical protection measures (TPMs) for the purpose of gaining unauthorized access to or making unauthorized copies of copyrighted works.

The DMCA does allow a lawful user of a computer program to circumvent TPMs to ensure that the program can work with other programs (interoperability); and, with strict limitations, the research may be shared with others, as long as it does not infringe the copyright in the original or a related work. However, reverse engineering is not permissible if there is a readily available commercial alternative for that purpose. In this case, there exist MANY commercially available DVD players.

Education (5, Interesting)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | about 12 years ago | (#4448623)

I'm an aspiring Visual FX animator. One day I'd like to do blue screen and green screen compositing. This is easy enough to do with a video camera and some blue tarp, but it is not the same as working under studio conditions.

Here's an example: In the Scooby Doo movie, there's a scene where a creature picks up Velma and she tugs on it's ears thinking it's a mask. In the 'Making of' part of the DVD, they show how they filmed that. They suspended the actress on wires up against a blue mockup of the creature. Then they cut out the wires and the blue parts, and inserted a CG creature in the shot.

This is not something I can do in my garage without a huge personal expendature. Thankfully, though, the DVD of the Scooby Doo movie contains the unprocessed footage. Normally, I'd rip the section of the DVD to an .AVI file and do some practice work on that. If I can master some of the techniques the FX studio made for that movie, I have a real shot at working in the industry. In other words, the ability to legally rip this DVD would not only provide me eductational resources, but I'd also get hired by the same indsutry that's trying to prevent me from doing just that.

The DMCA prevents me from legally extracting this footage that I purchased. It really kind of bugs me. A student who's learning to paint can copy a painting, but I cannot take the steps I need to learn a trade that I cannot learn in school.

Re:Education (2)

stubear (130454) | about 12 years ago | (#4448888)

Myself, and hundreds of thousands of others have had no problem doing the "garage" approach to learning. Using studio work, even the stuff you describe, doesn't help in anyway shape or form. You need to think about projects in a smaller scale and scope. You can learn a lot by just producing tiny shorts using studio techniques and if you're good, these can be included on your demo reel. You can't put any thing from the scooby-doo hack in your demo reel regardless of the DMCA.

Re:Education (2)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | about 12 years ago | (#4448945)

You misunderstand me. I never said anything about putting that footage in my demo reel.

Here's what I said:

" Normally, I'd rip the section of the DVD to an .AVI file and do some practice work on that..."

In other words, I'd liketa know what the pitfalls are and how to get around them. After Effects, in particular, has a bunch of different tools for doing rotoscoping and chroma keying. Different tools become useful at different times. You treat hair differently than you'd treat a wire, for example. You cannot argue that there is always value in finding ways of challenging yourself.

In any case, no, I was never saying anything about using that footage in my demo reel. I wish you'd give me some credit, though. I'm working really hard here to learn.

Re:Education (2)

stubear (130454) | about 12 years ago | (#4449036)

My point was you don't even need this to learn how to do things like this. Don't get me wrong. I purchased movies like "Contact" and "Lost in Space" specifically for the DVD content which demonstrates how they designed and produced the special effects in their movie. When it came time to do this myself, I came up with my own project, shot footage I needed with my DV camera and hacked away in AE. I learned FAR more than the movie could have ever taught me and I have a greater respect, as well as expanded vocabulary, for the work of others in the process. Using the footage in ANY of these movies would have NEVER have taught me as much as I now know, mostly because I had to work just a little bit harder to attain my goal. Basically what I'm saying is you NEED to run into a few of thes pitfalls so you can learn to avoid them in the future, but better still, you can deal with them if you can't avoid them.

Re:Education (2)

NanoGator (522640) | about 12 years ago | (#4448969)

There is a free motion-tracking program out there called 'Icarus'. I think it'd be cool to rip a DVD of popular movie scenes and use it to insert a Star Wars poster on the wall of Captain Picard's office.

You're right, though, the DMCA prohibits that type of stuff. Funny thing is, the same technique to do what I described was used in Episode II. They digitally touched up some sets using a similar process.

Wrong foundation altogether (4, Insightful)

jukal (523582) | about 12 years ago | (#4448655)

in my very uneducated opinion, the whole DMCA is based on wrong foundation. IMHO, it is utterly stupid to try and define what exactly, technically you can do to software - or hardware - that you purchased. I mean, if the legislative forces really think this the correct way to fix things, then there should be the "Oil Painting Copyright Act" and "Ceramic Copyright Act". I think I have said this in some other thread as well, but..after 100 years all these legislators will be crying in their graves when they realize that software is no different and that they cannot just do the easy DMCA-kludge fix to serve needs of specific companies.

Content and format guidelines (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448761)

Found here:

Illusion (2, Insightful)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | about 12 years ago | (#4448793)

Another case in which the government tries to continue to display the illusion that the country is still run by the citizens...

Slashdot's DMCA registration (2, Interesting)

DeepRedux (601768) | about 12 years ago | (#4448796)

Maybe slashdot should consider revoking its DMCA subsection 512(c) registration [] . This subsection limits the liability of a service provider.

My $.015 (5, Insightful)

Saint Mitchell (144618) | about 12 years ago | (#4448898)

Do you like your Compaq computer?

If the DMCA had existed back in the day Compaq wouldn't have been legally allowed to reverse engineer the IBM bios and make PCs as common as they are today. A whole insdustry sprang from something now no longer possible. Many of the asian countries don't give two shits about your IP. They will reverse engineer it and make it better/cheper/faster. Why? Because they can. All the DMCA does is screw the small guy with the dream.

Re:My $.015 (1)

nightsweat (604367) | about 12 years ago | (#4449100)

This is an excellent example. Instead of limiting it to just Compaq, the example should be extended to the entire IBM clone industry including any x86 you're reading this on right now.

Suggestions on what to do (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448918)

If you feel strongly and want your voice to count, consider doing the following:

1. Plan on spending some time (~1-2 hour(s)).

2. Get remedial edication on DCMA
and many other sites.

3. First (today/tomorrow), write to your Congressperson AND Senators on the wider view of why DMCA is a "bad thing" for society. Give some simple examples. Use your own words - no form letters, please. Write your message both in a text file so it can be pasted in an e-mail and a web-form (the method of communication varies between different legistative members).

Select the senators/congresspersons you want to write to and send them e-mail or fill out the web form.

4. Be reasonable, respectful and all that - basic human relations stuff (and spell check!). Include your contact information.

5. Mark your calendar for Nov 19 (OR the week of Thanksgiving - what a good thing to do after you are stuffed with leftover turkey and resting the next day when most people are shopping) to write a *separate letter* to the Copyright office. Deal only with the narrow context of their request on interpretation and exceptions (but the irst letter to the congress-folks should deal with DMCA in the wider context). for the context.

6. Write a short note to the same congress-folks you wrote before and CC them the letter to the Copyright office, emphasizing that the problem is with the DMCA itself, not the narrow copyright only context.

You may tell them it is more preferable to legistate human behavior rather than specific technologies.

Yes, it is work to paricipate in decision making. If we aren't willing to find some time to make the right input to the right people at the right time, we can't make a difference.


My comment (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4448943)

Screw the DMCA! Screeeeeewwwwwwww the DMCA!

(Legends of the Fall, part 2.)

Registered DMCA Violators list (3, Insightful)

Limburgher (523006) | about 12 years ago | (#4448980)

That might be how this is used. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but is the idea of Reichschancellor Ashcroft greasing the squeaky wheel, so to speak, that farfetched?

OT: Why no Slash-style public comment forums? (2, Interesting)

Fastolfe (1470) | about 12 years ago | (#4448988)

With the big push for "paperless" agencies nowadays, why don't we have a real good slash-style public comment forum in place yet? Sure, many agencies accept e-mails in addition to more traditional forms of public comment, but one might think that a true online web-based public forum might be desirable for situations where government agencies wish to solicit public comment. That way we can see other posts, respond to them, have intelligent discussion where necessary, and the agencies wouldn't be limited to simply re-reading the same things over and over again, trying to pick out a gem here and there, but otherwise just tallying votes.

Oh great more inconsistency from theogovernment... (2)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about 12 years ago | (#4449084)

So you are implying that bad laws are simply ignored rather than repealed? Gee, you sound like the NJ Supreme Court. Of course, you're probably right.

Unfortunately, I think there's going to be an increasing trend of differences between what's on the books and what is really enforced. Look at speed limits... thanks to that ludicrous Federal 55 MPH speed limit way back when, speed limits are almost universally ignored by citizens and only sporadically enforced, and "equal protection" is a joke.

Just wait until the laws are more even draconian than they already are and the enforcement is even more arbitrary than it is now. It will become like a negative lottery. Everyone breaks the law (because its stupid or unreasonable) and a few certain unlucky individuals will be singled out for punishment.

FREE DMITRY! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4449120)

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