Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

German Library Allowed To Crack Copy Protection

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the clashing-aims dept.

Media 277

AlexanderT writes "The EU Directive 2001/29/EU (also known as the European Copyright Directive) has made it "a criminal offence to break or attempt to break the copy protection or access control systems on digital content such as music, videos, eBooks, and software". Since today, at least in Germany there is one notable exception: The Deutsche Bibliothek, Germany's national library and bibliographic information center, has received a "license to copy", i.e. the official authorization to crack and duplicate DRM-protected e-books and other digital media such as CD-Audio and CD-Roms. The Deutsche Bibliothek achieved an agreement with the German Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the German Booksellers and Publishers Association after it became obvious that copy protections would not only annoy teenage school boys, but also prohibit the library from fulling its legal mandate to collect, process and bibliographic index important German and German-language based works."

cancel ×

277 comments

Interesting but.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406129)

lol hy jon 3

DIGEST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406474)

To the average XP-home-using-but-Linux-zealoting Slashdot-fagot:

No, this does not mean that you can steal music and movies legally.

Yes, you are still considered a cheap fuck and persecuted.

Yes, Germans have more common sense than faggish US-Americans.

Dis iz goot (1)

HarryCallahan (673707) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406132)

YA!

8-bit museum (2, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406135)

Sweet! It will now be able to legally store the complete collection of cracked Commodore 64 disk games!

Re:8-bit museum (2, Funny)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406169)

Sweet! It will now be able to legally store the complete collection of cracked Commodore 64 disk games!

Oh joy. Eternaly preserved load screens with "Cracked by xxxxxx" "Greetz to...." and "k-rad 0-day vvarzz". And worse yet... eternaly preserved bogus hex-edited credits that say "Cracked by Kaptain K Mart".

German Phonographic Industry (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406306)

Was I the only one who read that as "German P0rnographic Industry"

Re:German Phonographic Industry (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406321)

You know, until I read your post, I thought it DID say German Pornographic industry. I kept wondering why the Porn industry was so important there.

Re:German Phonographic Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406414)

I kept wondering why the Porn industry was so important there.

Because for some people it's hard to masturbate without the Playboy channel.

Right to read (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406137)

I think this would be a brilliant time to point of this essay, the right to read!
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read .html

It'll take you 5 minutes to get through but I think everyone should check it out :)

Why does his link not work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406209)

Re:Why does his link not work? (3, Informative)

Gob Blesh It (847837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406223)

Please visit Slashcode bug #981137 [sourceforge.net] , which concerns automatically hyperlinking URLs in "Plain Old Text" mode, and add a comment to show your support for a speedy resolution. No progress has been made on this trivial feature request for longer than six months.

Re:Why does his link not work? (2, Funny)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406262)

Oh, come on, six months is nothing. There are trivial bugs in Mozilla, for example, that haven't been fixed in six *years*... Just give it some time. With luck, your grandkids will see this feature implemented. :)

Re:Why does his link not work? (1, Informative)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406325)

In the meantime, there's plain text links [mozilla.org] . :)

Re:Why does his link not work? (1, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406333)

Nice. But it would be even nicer if it integrated into the renderer to actually turn those plain text links into clickable links - marking them and then selecting an option from the context menu is hardly more efficient than copying and pasting into a new tab.

Re:Why does his link not work? (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406342)

Yeah, no disagreements here. But frankly, I'm too lazy to modify the extension. I was considering perhaps making a bookmarklet that did exactly that though. Javascript tricks such as that is exactly what I use my bookmarklets for.

Re:Why does his link not work? (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406366)

*nods* Maybe we should just file a request for enhancement on bugzilla...

But then, considering how slow these guys are even when it comes to fixing *actual* bugs, it's probably not worth it. :)

Re:Why does his link not work? (1)

ch3 (701440) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406413)

Then you want Linkification [beggarchooser.com] . Absolutely necessary on Slashdot

Re:Why does his link not work? (0, Offtopic)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406428)

Nice. Does it work in Seamonkey, too, though?

Re:Why does his link not work? (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406392)

If you really care I will implement this feature for you. Just make a $50 (US) donation to my Sourceforge Project [sourceforge.net] and I'll get right on it. Of course, there's no guarentees that my patch will be accepted and there's even less chance that Slashdot will pick up the change. But hey, at least you will be doing something instead of complaining.

Re:Why does his link not work? (0, Offtopic)

Gob Blesh It (847837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406465)

Offtopic, but I am "doing something": (1) I took the time, six months ago, to write and submit the feature request, and (2) now I'm trying to gather support for it. I'm sorry if my suggestion rubbed you the wrong way--though I don't see why it would--but seeing as I personally have no programming skills and no desire to spend a few days learning perl just to fix an inconvenience in an entertaining, but ultimately recreational, website I happen to browse occasionally, what you call my "complaining" is really the best way I can think of to contribute to this project. You've got your skills and I've got mine.

Re:Right to read (1, Interesting)

dash2 (155223) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406409)

Let me bite.

Should it be illegal to break into someone else's computer? Yes. It's a violation of their privacy and means you could access information which you don't have a right to.

Why doesn't the same logic apply to breaking into someone's copy-protected CD? If you want unlimited rights to the digital content - i.e., you want to actually own the song or software - then you should buy those rights. If you don't have that ownership right then you aren't allowed to try and steal it - even if you own the physical medium.

Re:Right to read (5, Insightful)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406431)

But what happen when 10 years from now I want to listen to my copy-protected CD and can't do it anymore because it is protected?

I don't want unlimited rights to the content, I want unlimited rights to listening to the content, and this is what I bought...

Re:Right to read (3, Insightful)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406446)

Did you even read the text?

"Breaking into someone's copy-protected CD" is one thing, but I don't see the relevance. Why would I break into someone else's CD? The thing is, I'm breaking into my own copy-protected CD. I bought the CD, it's mine.

Is it wrong to "break into" my own car?

Re:Right to read (5, Insightful)

TheOldFart (578597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406455)

What if tomorrow DVD's are replaced by some other technology? Within a few years you no longer can find a DVD player to replace yours that just died. Now you have a collection of DVDs which contain the material you paid a license to watch. Your options are to pay again to have something you already have and paid for or to break the law and copy the data to a new medium. Why is that a crime?

In Soviet Russia.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406140)

Copyright Protection Cracks YOU!

Just goes to show... (5, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406146)

how wrong these laws really are. If this law is preventing the library fulfilling its legal obligations, perhaps this shows it was a badly thought-out law?

Re:Just goes to show... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406229)

What is really bizarre about this is the library is legally required and therefore must legally be able to make copies. So why do they need a license? It's not like these German equivalents of the *AA's should be able to stop them.

Re:Just goes to show... (3, Insightful)

konekoniku (793686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406277)

You're advocating the government seizure of private property without compensation here.

To take one example of why such a concept is a bad idea, say the Department of Transportation is legally required to build roads for the betterment of society. Very few people believe that the government should be able to just kick people off their land, confiscate their houses, and bulldoze them without compensation (even with compensation, as currently exists under eminent domain laws, this is a very controversial issue).

Granted, the damage you do to the value of intellectual property by copying it is much less than the damage done to the value of real estate by bulldozing it, by the underlying concept is very much the same.

Re:Just goes to show... (1)

cL0h (624108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406334)

Yes but they certainly shouldn't be prevented from doing so. If there were no legislation in place to allow for media archival in this manner then it could be argued in court that they cannot do this at all and that the granting of a licence is beyond the powers of the government. In your analogy a roads authority needs to acquire a compulsory purchase order before removing someone from their land. This is not granted automatically but a process is set out in law for the provision of such.

Re:Just goes to show... (1)

konekoniku (793686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406385)

I definitely agree with you - there's a reasonable argument to be made here, but giving the government automatic authority to seize intellectual property is, in my opinion, a solution that creates more problems than it solves.

Re:Just goes to show... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406478)

You're advocating the government seizure of private property without compensation here.

Which btw. would be perfectly legal in German law when it serves the "Gemeinwohl" (common good, or something). And this issue incidentally happen to be all about preserving cultural goods for the people.

Re:Just goes to show... (0, Flamebait)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406499)

Congratulations, sir, you are the first one to use a crappy and completely wrong analogy in a thread about intellectual property and copyright. Here [bigpond.net.au] 's your award.

Re:Just goes to show... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406285)

What is really bizarre about this is the library is legally required and therefore must legally be able to make copies. So why do they need a license? It's not like these German equivalents of the *AA's should be able to stop them.


That isn't guaranteed to stop them from trying. This is probably an effort by the Libraray to avoid the aggrivation of a totally pointless lawsuit. German banks for example have regularly taken quite mundane lawsuits to the supreme court in the hope that the expense of the process would discourage people from even trying to seek their right in the first place. Frivolous lawsuits are not just a problem in the USA, the Germans are almost as good at it as the Americans.

Re:Just goes to show... (1)

konekoniku (793686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406248)

The law doesn't prevent the library from fulfilling its legal obligations - it only makes it more difficult to do so. Just like, incidentally, how civil liberties laws makes it more difficult for the government to fulfill its national security obligations.

Re:Just goes to show... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406419)

yeah.. the "only makes it more difficult to do so" would have meant that the 'difficult' thing in it would also have been breaking the another law, if they didn't get the exception.

Quick Question (2, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406149)

Isn't law supposed to be equal for all?

If Joe Sixpack kills someone and is forgiven, why shouldn't anyone else be? While that is an extreme (and criminal) analogy, it is unfair that the law does not treat everyone equally.

I'm sure a good lawyer could argue out this point - if X can be exempted, why can't Y be exempted if his reasons are quite similar?

Re:Quick Question (0, Offtopic)

kentaromiura (780793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406161)

ahahah , this is so Funny!! :D yes and Santa Klaus exist..

Re:Quick Question (2, Funny)

dhalgren (34798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406166)

IANAL, but I believe you've just deduced the existence of 'precedence'.

Re:Quick Question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406202)

No, it's not. A cop has more rights than you do. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Re:Quick Question (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406222)

Isn't law supposed to be equal for all?
The aren't exempt from the law; they have negotiated with the publishers for permission to make copies.

Technically they may still be breaking the law by cracking the DRM, but since they're doing so with the permission of the publishers, it'd be silly to call them to task for it.

Re:Quick Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406245)

Technically they may still be breaking the law by cracking the DRM, but since they're doing so with the permission of the publishers, it'd be silly to call them to task for it.

Why? If i give you permission to kill me, the police are still going to arrest you and bring you up for murder after you have done so... The library is still breaking the law, wether or not the publishers gave them permission (which is not for them to give).

Re:Quick Question (2, Informative)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406430)

The Library is obliged to preserve copies of copyrighted material ready for its entry into the Public Domain. Since it gets this job by Government mandate, then anything standing in the way of it doing this job has to go.

This is really just a special kind of Compulsory Purchase Order. It might be temporarily unpopular with a few individuals, but the benefits to Society At Large outweigh the inconvenience it may cause them. And one can presume that an organisation like a National Library probably will take reasonable steps to prevent a premature release.
The library is still breaking the law, wether or not the publishers gave them permission (which is not for them to give).
No, it is entirely for them to give. The copyright holder -- usually the publisher -- is by definition absolutely entitled to grant permission to make copies of their copyrighted work. That's how the GPL works.

Re:Quick Question (2, Informative)

mrogers (85392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406249)

Actually the EUCD does provide a specific exemption for public libraries, provided they have no other way of getting a non-copy-protected version of the data. However, the EUCD is implemented differently in different EU member states, and implementations can choose which exemptions to include. What's legal in Germany might not be legal in the UK, for example, if and when the UK ever gets round to implementing the Directive.

Re:Quick Question (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406293)

If there still breaking the law then the government is involved but not the company's that make the software. So it does not matter if they care or not you could go to jail for breaking encription protecting software that was latter released for free.

Re:Quick Question (3, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406297)

Uhm, no one negotiated anything with me. No extortionist publisher association has any rights to give permissions for my works to anyone.

Of course, anything (software, documentation, game data) I ever published as myself went with a free license -- and they're pretty useless for a library, but that certainly isn't the case for a majority of authors. Remember: RIAA, MPAA, and in this case, GFPI and GBPA are not everything.

Re:Quick Question (2, Interesting)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406354)

The aren't exempt from the law; they have negotiated with the publishers for permission to make copies.

No, they negotiated to break the law that says you're not allowed to crack copy protection. If I give you the permission to break into my house its still a criminal act if you do so. And every police officer will ask: "If he gave you access permission to his house, why didn't he give you a housekey?". So, if content industry wants to give copy permission to someone they have to give them unprotected material, otherwise the copying party is still breaking applicable law!

Re:Quick Question (2, Insightful)

Christopheles (803724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406231)

Well quite simply, no one is getting killed here. The apparent reason is that since the recording industry owns the copyright, they can let whomever they want do whatever they want with it. It does not say explicitly that the Bibliothek is breaking the copy protection, only that it is copying the material, which it is allowed to do. If it's breaking the protection as well, and it is indeed a criminal offense, then there might be some question as to equality here. From the article it appears that the companies are indeed allowed to make exceptions, so nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Quick Question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406257)

Well, not speaking for those above the law (such as the insanely rich, politicians, mafiosi and the like, who are often the same), did you ever hear police sirens ? It means that the police or emergency vehicles have the right not to respect the law...legally because there is a legal exception for them ! It is exactly the same situation here.

Re:Quick Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406268)

I was recently thinking about this in relation to military law. For instance the idea that someone who is part of the military actually has an entirely seperate branch of law representing them is rather odd at first. Then if you look into it you realise that it is actually rather essential. A soldiers life is designed to effectively murder someone, whilst in civil society that is of course the worst thing that you can do. Now of course this doesn't entirely realate to the above article, but I think it illustrates the point that there are many requirements for law, and to say that it should be equally applied to everyone is a rather simplistic view to take.

Re:Quick Question (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Cowherd X (850136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406283)

if X can be exempted, why can't Y be exempted if his reasons are quite similar?

By stating that X is exempted you are confirming the fact that X is an exception to the rule and this is exactly how that saying that the exception proves the rule [straightdope.com] came about. If you prove the existence of a case is an exception that implies that a rule contrary to that exception must be valid for all other cases.

Re:Quick Question (3, Interesting)

Urkki (668283) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406294)

  • Isn't law supposed to be equal for all?
    If Joe Sixpack kills someone and is forgiven, why shouldn't anyone else be? While that is an extreme (and criminal) analogy, it is unfair that the law does not treat everyone equally.

Not really, circumstances matter. An extreme example: an enemy soldier that kills soldier on your side in a battle is not guilty of murder even though he's an enemy (and vice versa your side killing enemy soldiers). But if you purposefully kill a soldier on your side, you're not only guilty of murder, but possibly of treason/sabotage also, even if you're a soldier too.

Do you call that unfair, too?

  • I'm sure a good lawyer could argue out this point - if X can be exempted, why can't Y be exempted if his reasons are quite similar?

Well, in this case it'd mean the lawyer would have to show that Y has legal (or moral or somesuch) obligation to do something which requires breaking the copy protection... I wouldn't bet on success, no matter how good the lawyer was at twisting words.

Re:Quick Question (1)

campaign_bug (815908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406305)

Quite frankly, the german library already has a legal mandate to index these works which conflicts with this new EU law. I think the article is exaggerating a little when they say "crack the DRM" - more likely they'll ask the relevant copyright holder for the decryption key, and under the terms of their deal, the copyright holder will give it to them. Not quite the same thing as cracking the DRM wrapper.

Re:Quick Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406335)

And what if there is no decryption key available? How about copy-protected CD-Audios which don't use decryption keys?
According [heise.de] to a speaker of DDB, it is unlikely that DDB would always receive personalized copy-protection-free media, in which case they have to crack it (which they are now allowed to do according to the release).

Re:Quick Question (1)

russint (793669) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406326)

If a police officer kills someone and is forgiven, why shouldn't anyone else be? While that is an extreme analogy, it is unfair that the law does not treat everyone equally.

Re:Quick Question (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406395)

If Joe Sixpack kills someone and is forgiven, why shouldn't anyone else be? While that is an extreme (and criminal) analogy, it is unfair that the law does not treat everyone equally.

Um, circumstance? I'm sure the military can do more things than I can. We aren't treated equally.

Re:Quick Question (1)

swarsron (612788) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406453)

no, law isn't supposed to be equal for all. to stay with your murder analogy: if a persons with a iq 70 kills someone he's (at least here in germany, might be different in e.g. Texas) treated differently than a person with a normal iq

Re:Quick Question (3, Informative)

Gone Jackal (108992) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406472)

The EUCD [ukcdr.org] [http://ukcdr.org] explicitly states:

(30) The rights referred to in this Directive may be transferred, assigned or subject to the granting of contractual licences, without prejudice to the relevant national legislation on copyright and related rights.
and:
(33) The exclusive right of reproduction should be subject to an exception to allow certain acts of temporary reproduction, which are transient or incidental reproductions, forming an integral and essential part of a technological process and carried out for the sole purpose of enabling either efficient transmission in a network between third parties by an intermediary, or a lawful use of a work or other subject-matter to be made. The acts of reproduction concerned should have no separate economic value on their own. To the extent that they meet these conditions, this exception should include acts which enable browsing as well as acts of caching to take place, including those which enable transmission systems to function efficiently, provided that the intermediary does not modify the information and does not interfere with the lawful use of technology, widely recognised and used by industry, to obtain data on the use of the information. A use should be considered lawful where it is authorised by the rightholder or not restricted by law.
Take a look at the text for similar clauses. In other words, if I understand this correctly, this is firstly a question of academic or research usage, secondly a matter of agreement which can be made between any party and the copyright holder.

This doesn't mean that the law sucks any less, but that this agreement is nothing unusual, and has nothing to do with "special rights" granted to a particular class of people/organisations. I haven't been able to find the actual text of the agreement, though. It could be that the National Library in Germany will be paying copy-fees, or similar, for their reproductions.

In Australia (3, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406150)

I know working for DSD all of the laws relating to 'intercept of communications' are also valid for joe public - meaning what I do in the lab, the public can also do without repercussion from law enforcement.

It seems odd that a library should be alowed to do something, yet the German public can not. Was it to affect me, I'd lobby against the law. Write politicians and such. I'm not one for conspiracy theories, though such exemptions are usually a good start for more stupid laws.

Re:In Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406163)

In Australia, your puppet government would do what the US asks you to do.

Re:In Australia (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406250)

If they "achieved an agreement", as the article blurb says, then it's probably more a case of "we agree to not sue you for doing this" than a case of "we don't have a say in this matter because we're not part of the government in any way" ("we" referring to the content associations in questions). Reading the article seems to support this, more or less. The law in question seems to have provisions that allow "scientific and cultural use" despite copyright restrictions, and the latest version of the law allows for arrangements between the content industry and others to allow this to happen even when there are copy protections in place. It still would be a good idea to write your MP if you're living in Germany, of course, but not because of this specific agreement. Rather, you should write to them to express your concern about the lack of control of the EU by the people there is - Germany has no real choice but to establish a national law to reflect the EU directive in question, after all, and that is not a good thing, considering that there is little if any influence on the EU and its politics by voters.

This is important (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406151)

This is one of the primary reasons that DRM/copy protection needs to be less restrictive (or better yet done away with).

It is important that knowledge and information be available to all now, and years down the track. Particularly if the company that made the DRM is no longer around, or the hardware no longer made.

Information needs to be preserved and accessible and useful for all generations, not just for a companies short term profit.

Bond. Johannes Bond. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406157)

EU License to Crack.

Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

3.09 a hour (812839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406162)

This seems odd to me, i mean why cant the library purchase a legit copy? Does the library of congress have the same deal? As for annoyoing teenage boys, copy protection sure annoys me, can i get a expemtion?

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406175)

Please enlighten me on how the library is supposed to be able to loan out DRM'd copies!

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

konekoniku (793686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406186)

I don't see why it couldn't - perhaps you could elaborate?

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406242)

If DRM ties a media to a single computer then there isn't going to be any loaning, is there?

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

konekoniku (793686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406259)

Truthfully, the vast majority of DRM out there does not tie media to a single computer. (In fact, I'm not aware of any DRM that doesn't give you some way to legally uninstall media on one computer and reinstall it on another, but I could easily be behind the times).

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406282)

Substitute "computer" with "owner". You get the idea.

And just because it doesn't exist now doesn't mean it won't in the future.

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

konekoniku (793686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406290)

I'm certain no DRM bans the sale of legally acquired software from one party to another either. And the slippery slope argument, defined as a logical fallacy as it is, is ipso facto a poor one to make.

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406312)

Well, there is Steam for instance.

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406491)

You cannot sell or lend Half-Life 2. (or any other Valve games that come out in future)

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (2, Insightful)

Tomji (142759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406181)

The probaly want to archive them for good. In order to do that they need the data as direct as possibel and not encrypted and/or compressed.

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406183)

This seems odd to me, i mean why cant the library purchase a legit copy?

Sure, but what happens if the publisher goes out of business? How will you activate your DRMed content?

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406189)

This is not about not having money or not having legit copies. The national library is allowed to copy media for archiving purposes, e.g. copy a CD to another medium to prevent loss due to decay or to preserve the data after the CD format has become obsolete.

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406194)

The library needs to copy the e-books and CDs on other storage media since CDs do not work for 100 year :-(

Re:Uhh..okay? Library with no money? (1)

AWxSlashdot (687701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406200)

IMHO, this is not about legit copy but about storage. The library must have a unique kind of storage format for digital content. With protected content, with SO many standards, they might need to adapt theit searching/viewing/indexing tools.
As new copy-protection standards emerge everyday (and I don't know if they are all available as a SDK to interface with another program) and as I think the library to not want to hire fulltime developpers to integrate every single API (if it exists and can be integrated - think about concurrent access, etc ...), they must have thought is was easier to store everything in a clear format and get rid of the protection.

Now, if only they could decompile stuff too... (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406164)

Cracking copy protection on books and music is great, but what about software? N years from now we'll be able to read the books, but all the old abandonware will be useless because the source code is long gone... And no, emulation doesn't cut it because you can't make derivative works.

(BTW, I do realize that software isn't included in their mandate, but it's still an important related issue!)

More EUCD Information (4, Informative)

MartijnH (602886) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406171)

Here's also a great site on the EUCD [euro-copyrights.org]

this is good news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406184)

now to spoof my domanname...

Copyright: for the betterment of society (3, Insightful)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406192)

I've heard this a LOT about copyright being there to promote innovation , but most people forget the "for the betterment of society" part of it. altruists.org [altruists.org] has the right ideas, but nobody with any real clout has said it so far. Until Now !!

Reworking Copyright [intencha.com] pretty much covers how I feel about copyright.. (though not written by me).

For example , Gandhi was a great proponent of "Making money is not evil" (being from a business community) unlike the England educated Nehru's socialism. People rarely distinguish between the cost of an object and it's price :).. As long as the price is not paid by society (rather than an induvidual) , copyright holds. Interestingly society profits when an induvidual pays or that's the way copyright was supposed to work.

But how will they do it? (5, Interesting)

jlar (584848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406197)

At least in the Danish implementation of the EU copyright directive it is illegal to produce, import, spread, sell, lease out, advertise for or in a commercial setting own products or components that are subject to advertised as usable for circumventing technological protection measures, only have limited use besides circumvention of technological protection measures or is primarily produced to make it possible to circumvent technological protection measures.

The German implementation is probably similar. My question is: How can the German Library break the copy protection when it is illegal to produce tools to do it?

Re:But how will they do it? (4, Informative)

term8or (576787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406390)

My question is: How can the German Library break the copy protection when it is illegal to produce tools to do it?

I would have thought the article tells you this. The german government wrote into law an exception that said that the German Library could produce and own tools to do it since it was impossible to carry out their legal functions without such an excemption. I would assume that this is legal since their is an excemption in the EU copyright directive to allow member states to make such exceptions (e.g)

(34) Member States should be given the option of providing for certain exceptions or limitations for cases such as educational and scientific purposes, for the benefit of public institutions such as libraries and archives, ....

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406416)

What's in the parent post makes 90 % of the discussion redundant.

Re:But how will they do it? (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406449)

They grab CloneCD from

SlySoft Inc.
Dickenson Bay Street
John Henry Bldg.
St. John's
Antigua (West Indies)

In Antigua, it's still legal to produce such tools (at least, until the US invades it).

ugh.. did NOBODY catch this yet? (2, Funny)

techarnate (786687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406203)

The jerky who wrote this thing up obviously confused "Phonographic" with uh... something a little different.

"annoy teenage school boys". HELLO. DUMBARSE. FLAGRANT STUPIDITY REIGNS YET AGAIN.

what a toolbox.

----
(incarnate) hey cres, I know what you're thinking right now

(incarnate) " "
(cres) i dont get it

Re:ugh.. did NOBODY catch this yet? (1)

apanap (804545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406278)

"annoy teenage school boys". HELLO. DUMBARSE. FLAGRANT STUPIDITY REIGNS YET AGAIN.

OK, so he should have put "annoy mentally teenaged boys". Or possibly "teenage school boys and slashbots". People in the Real World [tm] don't give a shit...

Re:ugh.. did NOBODY catch this yet? (1)

techarnate (786687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406304)

I'd defer this to the previous "i know what you're thinking right now" quote i said like 10 years ago... but I think even that'd be lost on you dude.

read the article and try to comprehend again. if you hear a scream and a dull thud come from the back of your skull, you've succeeded in permanently frying a few synapses: thank you, drive thru.

HINT: HE THOUGHT IT SAID "PORNOGRAPHIC". THUS THE COMMENT. IF YOU CAN HEAR THIS YOU'RE DYING.

Re:ugh.. did NOBODY catch this yet? (1)

apanap (804545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406369)

DOH. I got your meaning, missed your point... :)

Great, it doesn't solve the problem though. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406208)

The European Copyright Directive and other laws in that nature make it increasingly difficult for libraries to deliver meaningful content to their users. This is especially obviouse when it comes to university libraries.

Take subito (http://www.subito-doc.de/) for example. It's a service provided by university libraries that let's you order copies of articles in case the relevant journal is not available in your local library. Now with universities always getting less money than actually needed, it's quite common that much of the journals you need are not available locally and so subito really provides a very useful service to students and scholars.

However, this will probably stop in a short while as there is a legal battle raging against it brought by the same institutions that gave the Deutsche Bibliothek to crack DRM.

To sum it up, these laws are in fact hindering innovation and research in Germany (and I'm sure also in other countries) right now and to give some special rights to one library won't change that.

Cracking? By whom? (4, Funny)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406216)

Where will they get the know-how, once the MPAA and RIAA have reached their ultimate goal of exterminating all reverse-engineers?

I don't see the gray-hair-in-a-knot granny librarian soft-icing her way through the latest Safedisc protection...

Feeding them their own medicine (3, Funny)

shish (588640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406225)

Is it a criminal offence to break or attempt to break the copy protection (rot26) on digital content such as this post?

Huh? (4, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406239)

Of course they reached an agreement.

The German Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the German Booksellers and Publishers Association didn't want this agency getting the entire law overturned. A potential ally for the little guys in their struggle against these stupid laws has just been bought off.

At the same time, they get the added benefit of making it look like these two groups are in charge of the law and can exempt people from it.

In the US, if the RIAA said it was okay for a library to crack it's copy protection mechanisms (haha), would that be okay under the DMCA?

I mean, if they can do that, that seems to mean that it's okay for ANYONE who has the legal right to copy a protected work to break the copy protection mechanisms prevent that legal use.

How they try to justify the decision... (3, Insightful)

AlexanderT (846266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406241)

The official press release states [www.ddb.de] that, "Das Urheberrechtsgesetz sieht so genannte Schrankenregelungen vor, nach denen der Zugang zu urheberrechtlich geschützten Werken zu bestimmten Zwecken, wie zum Beispiel für wissenschaftliche und kulturelle Nutzungen, zulässig ist. Die letzte Novelle des Gesetzes, deren einschlägige Regelungen im September 2004 in Kraft getreten sind, sieht hierfür ausdrücklich die Möglichkeit von Vereinbarungen zwischen Verbänden vor, um diese Nutzungen auch von kopiergeschützten Medien zu ermöglichen."

I think they are referring to this particular revision [bmj.bund.de] in the German copyright law, which apparantly states that associations such as the Phonographic Industry have the right to allow particular institutions, such as the National Library, to duplicate copyright-protected media (for the sake of science and culture).

Alex,
MobileRead.com [mobileread.com]

Re:How they try to justify the decision... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406264)

... and how does that go along with European copyright laws? Can Germany simply rule such exceptions?

In Sweden...:D (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406266)

Haha funny. A ruling from a couple of week ago in Sweden made it legal for anyone to crack programs and other schemes as long as it is for personal use. You are also allowed to distribute the cracked software to personal friends.

(This is the case against the cracker group DOD, Drink or Die. While the American members all got jailed the Swedish member (who actually did most of the cracking) was freed of all charges)

And yes, Sweden is also in the EU but thankfully our local laws can override BS laws like this (i think)

Teenage school boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406276)

Uhm, teenage school boys are not the only ones who are annoyed with DRM and copy protections ;)

Re:Teenage school boys? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406298)

Yeah, I too thought it was a strangely sexist and agist remark that only teenage boys are interested in the library.

Distribution (2, Funny)

wintaki (848851) | more than 9 years ago | (#11406374)

The big question is whether they will be permited to distribute the crack they make. I would be very interested in obtaining German library crack.

Governments suck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406398)

Great... The government creates a law and makes an additional one to make sure it doesn't apply to them.

Dirty mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11406479)

The German Federation of what?! ;-)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...