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USCO Reviewing DMCA Anti-Circumvention Clause

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the open-to-change dept.

United States 191

ahknight writes "The United States Copyright office begins its required review of the effects of the anti-circumvention portions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act on November 2nd. This review period lasts until December 1, 2005. They will be accepting your well-thought-out opinions on the web and by mail. If you're reasonably ticked that you can't legally get around encrypted files to get at the media you've bought, start writing a coherent stance for the USCO today."

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Coherent? (4, Funny)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895623)

"...start writing a coherent stance for the USCO today."

DMCA is teh suxx0rszss!!!11!one!11

Re:Coherent? (0, Troll)

LTC_Kilgore (889217) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895714)

OMGWTFBBQ?!?!!!11

A better idea ... (3, Funny)

aaronmcdaid (771190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895624)

> start writing a coherent stance

.. or just rip off a fellow slashdotter's comment.

Re:A better idea ... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895656)

.. or just rip off another fellow slashdotter's comment.

Re:A better idea ... (2, Funny)

AlphaJoe (798014) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895845)

Uhm.... he said coherent...

Re:A better idea ... (1)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896253)

Coherence and Slashdot are mutually exclusive.

Send them a song! (5, Funny)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896174)

I have this great MP3 tune I could send them. Sure, most of the verses are nonsense like "This function is void, it takes two parameters, the first is 't', the encrypted title key" and so on, but it has this great chorus that goes like "I hate the DMCA, it steps on me and I'm not free"...

Joan Baez would be proud.

Not a good idea to post that on /. (4, Funny)

J0nne (924579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895628)

I doubt their comment form has a moderation system, so any insightful comments will drown between all the goatse and tubgirl images and ascii pr0n that will undoubtedly be sent ;)...

lolwhat. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895629)

exactly

Chance for change... (4, Insightful)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895630)

...not likely. There is no way on Earth they will give up this power to control the market. In fact, there is no way anyone will ever give up any power unless a) it is taken from them (usually by force) or b) they can replace it with another power that is equal or stronger. The best that we can hope for is that the law will for the most part go uninforced because it is basically unworkable or unjust.

Re:Chance for change... (3, Insightful)

klaun (236494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895803)

...not likely. There is no way on Earth they will give up this power to control the market. In fact, there is no way anyone will ever give up any power unless a) it is taken from them (usually by force) or b) they can replace it with another power that is equal or stronger. The best that we can hope for is that the law will for the most part go uninforced because it is basically unworkable or unjust.

As evidenced by by Indian independence movement from British Colonial rule.

Re:Chance for change... (0)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895903)

Indian independence was "won" from a country that tired of empire and decided to question their own ability and rightness. Many in England at the time thought it was simply wrong for their empire to exist and that England had no more right to rule than anyone else.

The result was they gave up their empire and retreated to their own shores for economic contraction and near-collapse.

This is the future that the US faces. While we don't have an empire, we do have the nattering nabobs that say we have no more right to "rule" than the savages that behead people on TV. We probably don't have any more "right" and this very admission will almost certainly lead to the dominance of those that would see the US contract and nearly collapse.

Re:Chance for change... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895949)

Please contact me personally. I have a need for people like yourself.

L. Ron Hubbard
This post is copyright and redistribution is prohibited

Re:Chance for change... (-1, Flamebait)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896167)

"savages that behead people on TV"

A curious stance. The US tortures and executes people behind closed doors and out of the reach of it's own jurisdiction.

I have more respect for people that do things in the open, it suggests an honesty.

The US's (and allies) secrecy is counter to honesty.

The world would be a different place if we all had access to the CCTV in Gitmo !

A chance for a change. (2, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896268)

Ignoring the troll, if I might be so bold, the original point was that no one ever gives up power voluntarily. Characterise it as you will, the disolution of the Empire stands as an eloquent counter to this assertion.

It should also be noted here that the people making the descision are not the ones who benefit from the injustice in question - another reason to make the effort and write.

Re:Chance for change... (5, Insightful)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895808)

With all due respect to the OP, this post should not have been modded insightful.

The best that you can hope for isn't that the law will go uninforced, but that it will be enforced upon someone with the willingness to litigate it. Courts decide whether a law violates your rights, and that's what you need in this case, a suit argued well by a competent attorney in the field. It needs to go to a jury and won there. You might argue that a judge or jury doesn't understand the injustice in the law, but that's why you need a good attorney to craft the argument.

As much as you people hate trial lawyers around here (I can't say I like the ambulance chasing types either).

Re:Chance for change... (2, Interesting)

sunya (101612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895839)

Yeah, that worked real well against the Sonny Bono Coyright extension [slashdot.org] .

Re:Chance for change... (4, Interesting)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896176)

Which is why jury nullification [wikipedia.org] is such an important aspect of the modern legal system. Since power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely - ie: congress will always take it upon themselves to pass idiotic and patently unjust laws (see previous comments about US Sen McCain, R-AZ declaring that money is more important than the Constitution) and judges will always side with modern interpretations of law over the US Constitution and common sense - the ability for the jury to declare a law unenforcible is paramount to a fair and equitable society.

A good reference is the American Jury Institute and Fully Informed Jury Association (AJI/FIJA) [fija.org]

Some states get it right:

In the trial of all criminal cases, the Jury shall be the Judges of Law, as well as of fact (Maryland)

In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts. (Indiana)

In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law (Oregon)

the jury shall be judges of the law and the facts (Georgia)

Chances of the federal government willingly accepting the concept that the lowly pee-ons of the citizenry are smart enough to spot a bad law when they see it? None to rolling of the floor laughing. And even in states where the juries have the right to judge the law the juries are often kept in the dark regarding the true nature of their position.

Other related takes can be found here [backwoodshome.com] and here [erowid.org] .

Re:Chance for change... (1)

zootm (850416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896434)

Isn't it the media companies that are using this power to control the market, though? I'd like to be positive enough to think that you can't just equate the government and big business these days.

It's a nice thought, anyway.

hopefully (5, Insightful)

akhomerun (893103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895631)

hopefully we can get something out of this if enough people leave some good comments.

bottom line is, if i buy a DVD, i should be able to make backup copies for myself. if the media companies are going to sell a license for their media, the disc shouldn't matter, i should be entitled to that license regardless. on DVD movies, the license is for home exibition in one household, and i am following that license agreement whether i have one or 50 copies, as long as i use only one copy at a time in one household.

Re:hopefully (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895649)

You are assuming that you have any input into the license creation.

Re:hopefully (1)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896096)

I don't understand the whole "backup copies" argument anymore. It made more sense in the days of floppies where you could look at one the wrong way and it would end up corrupted. I just can't see a rational person having two of every movie in their collection "just in case".

I agree with the benefits of a license working for both sides, but making backups is a pretty weak argument.

Backups (2, Informative)

GWTPict (749514) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896113)

Got kids? My niece trashed several DVDs before she was old enough to understand why she couldn't watch The Lion King again.

Re:hopefully (2, Informative)

dhanes (735504) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896206)

You, sir, obviously don't have children. I've bought the friggin' Lion King DVD at least 3 times (before I built a MythTv). At 3 years of age, children don't understand that the shiny round thingy that has their 'Simby' on it isn't unbreakable or can't be scratched.

Re:hopefully (2, Informative)

SecretSauce (247950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896147)

What I think they are incapable of understanding about 'copies for use of a single household' is the fact that we are not just watching these movies on our Brand Name DVD player (where brand name has paid licensing to just use the damn DVD copyrighted logo etc and as such giving money to these people hell bent on taking all our rights) but have moved on to say hey, I'm travelling this week, I'll rip it to watch on my PSP while the wife and kids can still enjoy it on said Brand Name DVD player.

Me, My kids and my wife are ONE household. If I buy the DVD for OUR use and wish to rip it to my PSP, I'm not breaking the law....as much as they'd like to SAY I am.

CSS is not copy protection (3, Insightful)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896225)

CSS is not copy protection - you can copy the encrypted data without any problem. CSS is access control. It prevents you from making sense of the data. It's used to control the player market. Sheesh, if you do something they don't like they'll stop putting your key on future DVDs so your existing players won't work. Once the player makers are all playing along, we get region coding - again, that's not copy protection. No form of encryption is really copy protection.

I though the anti-circumvention clause was intended to stop people from getting free cable TV. Instead it prevents people from accessing stuff they actually paid for.

Licensing? You got hosed... (4, Insightful)

rworne (538610) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896309)

Disney had better word their ads and store displays more carefully in the future.

Visiting a local video store there was a large poster and floor display advertising the new release of Disney's "Cinderella." The ad said: "Own it today". The key word in the ad was "own", not "license." This display (large cardboard thing that looked like a castle) came from Disney itself and was full of DVDs.

I bought one for the kid to watch and now I am the proud owner of a copy. Yeah, the disc says something about "licensed for in-home entertainment only" when played, but that was in the shrink-wrap and conflicts with the contract I agreed to when buying it. So Disney will just have to suck it up.

Perhaps one should collect these ads to present to a court if there are any DMCA issues. If I have an ad from a copyright holder (like Disney) that literally says I own the property I purchased (disc, case inserts and data on it) instead of licensing it then I am the owner of the copyrighted work that is affixed to the disc and can do with it as I (or anyone else who buys a disc) pleases. Perhaps this is Disney's way of releasing their classic films into the public domain?

It only takes one good comment (4, Informative)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896423)

I hope it's not too late in the thread to have this article seen, and I apologize for piggy-backing on the parents comment (hopefully it's close enough to being an on-topic response anyway), but I wanted to point out to people that one person really can change minds inside the government [eff.org] with a well written arguement (you'll have to read a bit to see him mentioned). I wouldn't pretend to know what might get you your 'foot in the door' in regards to changing the mind of a person subjected to lobbying and writing campaigns on a regular basis, but my suggestions are simple.

  • Start by not sounding partisan, you weren't always an 'activist', explain why a rational and average American like you would come to your conclusion.
  • On that same page, leave whatever philosophy you might have on the approach of a plutocratic revolution where corporate rule enslaves mankind for another letter -- even if you do think it's the root of the problem.
  • And again relating to the above, don't speak in a letter as if the recipient is the greedy benefactor of corporate dinners and exotic vacations. Even if they were, making them your villan will put them on the defensive, and no matter what perversions of rational thought are required they will find a way to justify ignoring your statements.
  • Don't subscribe to write-in campaigns. Form letters are already ignored, and to combat such an easily abused practice you can bet many letters will be ignored just for resembling eachother or arriving from activism websites themselves.

give it a few days (4, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895634)

It's not open for comments just yet. They're accepting your feedback starting November 2. Warm up your keyboard and give 'em a piece of your mind!

Re:give it a few days (4, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895647)

Seriously, work on your comments from now until then if this is an issue you really care about. And then make sure to snailmail your comments. It is much mnore effective no matter what they say.

Re:give it a few days (4, Insightful)

dotc (233844) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895667)

Argh! Comment submission doesn't start till Nov 2nd -- to maximize the Slashdot effect, the editors probably should re-post this article then.

(although, let's face it... with the frequency of article dupes, they probably will re-post it as part of the normal Slashdot practice)...

Re:give it a few days (2, Funny)

Aumaden (598628) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895702)

"will" not "should"

Re:give it a few days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895860)

Not necessarily. The last time I submitted a story to begin submitting comments to stop an act like this it was rejected. We did get several dupes about it after it already occurred in the negative with plenty of rants...

Accepting and considering are two different things (3, Insightful)

Zro Point Two (699505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895635)

"They will be accepting your well-thought-out opinions on the web and by mail."

But that doesn't necessarily mean that they will read them or even consider them...just that they will accept your opinionated letter/email.

They won't really listen (4, Insightful)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895639)

Come on -- do you really think they are going to seriously listen to what the majority of ordinary people want? Everyone knows the government in this country is controlled by rich special interest and corporations. Public feedback requests like this are only conducted to try to make the masses feel like they're being listened to even though they really aren't.

Re:They won't really listen (5, Funny)

George Tirebuyer (825426) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895679)

They'll listen... especially if large numbers of ordinary people show up with torches and pitch forks.

Re:They won't really listen (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896122)

This is the United States of America we are talking about. The reason for the whole Second Amendment wasn't placed in there for hunting reasons. It was placed in there so that we could rise up and would not have to result to using torches and pitchforks like others in the past had to when they revolted against the government. The other reasons for it is defense against invading armies or militias.

Oh and zombie invasions.

Re:They won't really listen (1)

ronjeremysjohnson (899273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896237)

Is there room in your raid party?

Re:They won't really listen (1)

m4dm4n (888871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895704)

Yup, it's much better if you do nothing at all.

Re:They won't really listen (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895716)

No. But we can submit our voices, then watch as they are disregarded, then have something to bitch about for another 5 years or so.

Re:They won't really listen (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895747)

and a response when they're bloody and disemboweled and saying "but no one ever said..."

Re:They won't really listen (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895752)

They do listen to what the majority of ordinary people want. They don't listen to what a minority of informed people want.

Slashdot is not the majority.

Slashdot users are not ordinary.

Determining whether they are informend or not is an excercise for the reader.

Re:They won't really listen (5, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895799)

I imagine that that same cynicism prevents you from voting too.

Did you ever consider that such cynicism breeds apathy, and perpetuates the very problems you lament?

Get off your ass and take a little responsibility.

Re:They won't really listen (1)

rizole (666389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896117)

Well yes and no. I imagine that the very problems he laments breeds apathy and perpetuates cynicism.

I get off my ass and take a little responsibility and I don't think they really listen.

Biggest demonstration in the world ever [kcl.ac.uk] and no one in power even blinked.

Re:They won't really listen (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896169)

Tony Blair was re-elected, wasn't he?

Where were those 2 million on election day?

Re:They won't really listen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896187)

I imagine that that same cynicism prevents you from voting too.

So... you're encouraging someone who doesn't understand the issues to vote??

Re:They won't really listen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896314)

Cynical != uninformed

does the DMCA... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895644)

I wonder if the DMCA prohibits circumvention
in every medium. For instance, would it be illegal
to re-bind a book, because doing so would involve
removing the binding which is a step required
for photocopying?

Re:does the DMCA... (2, Interesting)

hplasm (576983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895655)

..that which is not expressly allowed is not permitted..

Can't remember where that comes from, but it's getting that way :

Re:does the DMCA... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895709)

Not really. The binding is a structural element, not a copyright circumvention device. You are still allowed to take the cover off your XBox and mod it as much as you desire, as long as it plays only copyrighted media.

Re:does the DMCA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896374)

Only thieves run public domain software.

How about... (5, Interesting)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895658)

Maybe we should do an 'Ask Slashdot'. CmdrTaco can then submit the best 500,000 :o)

Re:How about... (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895739)

...and then ScuttleMonkey can dupe them and bring up the million!

A Good Idea, but Let's Solve the Problem (5, Insightful)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895659)

While writing to the Copyright Office and expressing concern over whatever anti-circumvention technologies you would like access to is still a good idea, it's addressing symptoms, and not the problem.

Let's not be like the medical industry here. There is a proposal for cure out there. It's called HR 1201, "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2005" [loc.gov] . Write your local congressperson and get this legislation passed!

Re:A Good Idea, but Let's Solve the Problem (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895728)

What's funny is that the bulk of the law looks like a mattress labeling law ("it shall be unlawful to remove or mutilate, or cause or participate in the removal or mutilation of, any label required by this section"). What really matters is the Section 5 Fair Use amendments. In just a few lines, Rep Boucher has probably sent most of the content industry apoplectic.

Unfortunately, there is one line missing from the law: "It shall be prohibited for an entity hold the patent on both a content control method and the associated mechanism for circumvention. It shall furthermore be prohibited for any entity with a business interest in or association with a business interest in content generation or content protection to hold a patent for a protection circumvention method or mechanism."

No doubt the policy wonks in DC can craft a less drafty version, but it's going to be necessary, I believe. Macrovision generally patents both protection methods and every possible workaround they can think of before they put a "product" on the market. It would be nice to try and stop that kind of restraint.

Get there before the RIAA does! (4, Insightful)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895672)

I'm sure "members of the public" will surreptitiously submit support for the RIAA on this topic.

Anyway, from the page: "...which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention."

Well, there's the argument that DMCA locks you to a specific vendor (Microsoft or Apple, basically) and therefore is a monopoly-style problem for consumers, but the Gov'mt is likely to think this is akin to complaining that you can't listen your LP's on your CD player. Yeah, the format is locked to a vendor or kind of equipment, but there are ways of transferring it if you really want to. (Yes, there are. Stop complaining.)

Then there's the argument that consumers ought to be able to back up the media they buy in case something happens to the original. This is true. Of course, you could say the same thing about books, but nobody actually photocopies a whole book (and it wouldn't be the same thing, anyway). But maybe you should be able to. If I've paid once for rights to use media, are my terms of agreement limited to the physical state of the data? Or to do they apply to continued use?

And there is also the general idea that prohibition rarely works. Digital locks only keep digital crackers in business. If all media was unprotected, it wouldn't be so thrilling to get something illegal.

Finally, if the media industries took all the time and money that they've spent on DMCA and put it into producing better works, we'd have much better music and movies... or maybe CDs that cost less than $10.

Re:Get there before the RIAA does! (1)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895735)

Yeah, the format is locked to a vendor or kind of equipment, but there are ways of transferring it if you really want to. (Yes, there are. Stop complaining.)

Yes, there are... BUT THEY'RE ILLEGAL!

Re:Get there before the RIAA does! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895749)

You mean the software to crack the encryption is illegal? Yeah. You mean that other more laborious ways (e.g. burn it to a CD, rip it back to your computer in whatever format you want) are illegal? Nope.

Re:Get there before the RIAA does! (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895822)

That's fine for music, but what about DVDs, software, etc.???

Re:Get there before the RIAA does! (1)

araemo (603185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896207)

Burning a protected song to an unprotected audio CD and them re-ripping it back in could be argued to be circumvention of the protection mechanism. You're just as likely to get busted for that as for Hymning your iTunes files.

(IE, if you're not redistributing them, you aren't going to get busted. You may be breaking the law, but I doubt anyone will notice.)

Re:Get there before the RIAA does! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895756)

Apples and oranges. Photocopying a book is not cost effective, also they aren't subjected the same sort of wear and tear as DVDs are. Dead tree editions are more durable and can be utilized (for now) for a multitude of uses unforseen by the manufacterer. A DVD is sensitive dies when its surface becomes damaged, a book for the most part can be salvaged. Besides people need books, how would extremists create bonfires without them?

Not legally (3, Insightful)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895805)

Well, there's the argument that DMCA locks you to a specific vendor (Microsoft or Apple, basically) and therefore is a monopoly-style problem for consumers, but the Gov'mt is likely to think this is akin to complaining that you can't listen your LP's on your CD player. Yeah, the format is locked to a vendor or kind of equipment, but there are ways of transferring it if you really want to. (Yes, there are. Stop complaining.)
Not legally there's not. That's covered by the DMCA under circumvention. If you have the EUCD instead, then even talking about it 'in an organized manner' is illegal. That means that if the vendor doesn't want you to access the file on your brand or model, then you're S.O.L. legally speaking. Sure there are ways to get around most things, but computer crime is up there with armed robbery in terms of punishment these days.

Anyway, that's the whole point of exemptions to the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause. Though it'd be better just to repeal the DMCA. It was able to slide through congress with the help of the media which was giving 24/7 coverage of whether Lewinsky [netfunny.com] spit or swallowed.

Re:Get there before the RIAA does! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895814)

if the media industries took all the time and money that they've spent on DMCA and put it into producing better works, we'd have much better music and movies... or maybe CDs that cost less than $10

Agreed. And if millions of people hadn't been making copies of the music and movies, and making those copies available for free to millions of others for the past few years, then maybe we wouldn't be having this discourse, because DRM and the DMCA and software copy protection and activation and all the rest would be unnecessary.

In Corporate America... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895673)

They will be accepting your well-thought-out opinions on the web and by mail
... and large amounts of corporate "donations" in small denomination, unmarked bills.

Re:In Corporate America... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895688)

Don't worry about the unmarked bills in small denominations, just send a honkin' big check to T. Delay, he'll make sure the right people get the money they need ;-)

coherent stance for the USCO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895687)

AAAAAAAAAAArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGhhhhhhh hhhhhhh !
Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggllllllllllllllllll lll !
UGGA UGGA UGGA AAAARGH !
RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAFPPTZGGRRRRRLMPFTZ !

Public Comment Peer Review (4, Insightful)

OpenGLFan (56206) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895693)

While I enjoy the illusion of public participation in government as much as the next guy, if you're going to submit a comment to this thing, PLEASE make it a consise, well-written comment. Run it by a few friends or post it as a reply here; we're all about the open-source, many eyes make all bugs shallow philosophy, right? Our legislature is typically motivated more by gift certificates to Dennys than the letters of its constituents, but if we are going to be heard, I'd rather our message not be represented by "n00b, j00 sux0r."

Great, a Victory for the RIAA (0, Redundant)

Wingie (554272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895696)

Damnit! Now that the RIAA and MPAA and co. leet haxored /. and posted this here, the USCO site will be flooded with drooling idiots and "HURHUR ME NO LIKE DMCA COZ IT NO LET ME RIP FITY CENT AN HIS CD AN I CAN NOT LISTEN TO MUSIK AND LOOK AT UNDERAGE PORN WHILE $%%$@@#ING YO MOMMA!!!!!1111!!~ - Billy, /. ReADER REPRESENT!!!".

Much more cost effective than hiring their own drooling idiots, I'd say.

OP's priorities need adjusting (4, Insightful)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895731)

If you're reasonably ticked that you can't legally get around encrypted files to get at the media you've bought,

Bah, who cares about that? DMCA hasn't stopped me from getting to my media.
The real problem is when printer companies start using the DMCA to try and prevent other companies from making accessories (ink cartridges) for their printers. When console companies use the DMCA to say that installing a modchip onto a piece of hardware you own is illegal.
So whoop-ti-do about DRM, there will always be a way around that. Generally sourced from a country not under jurisdiction of this draconian law. My concern is with all the companies that would love to spin the law for their own purposes, when it was not designed for that.

Re:OP's priorities need adjusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895781)

There may not always be. What happens when they say "ok, drm isn't enough, next step, trusted computing"?

Eventually it'll get ratcheted down so tight it won't be possible. What are you going to say then?

Re:OP's priorities need adjusting (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896391)

I can't see it ever getting to that point. Even if it did, I'd be buying black market PC components from Europe/Japan with no TCP chips/devices. And/or wait for the crack to come out.

Okay - some legitimate reasons for circumvention (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895746)

These are things that a lot of people actually do, rather than what a small minority of people with way too much time do:

  • Make a mix CD from music on copy protected CDs.
  • Copy music downloaded from iTunes to a playerthat's not an iPod.
  • Copy music downloaded from other music services to a an iPod.
  • Timeshift something recorded on Tivo More than a week after it was recorded [polyphony.org] .

Now, I'd quite like to be able to legally back up a DVD and various other things as well, but really quite a small number of people really care. People do, however, copy music and record TV shows, and it is perfectly legal to do this (according to the Audio Home Recording Act and the SCOTUS Betamax decision), except the DMCA makes it illegal.

Re:Okay - some legitimate reasons for circumventio (5, Insightful)

Subrafta (848399) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895886)

Anyone with small children cares about making backup copies of DVDs. You'll care too the first time your three year old is still crying at 1 am because Dora or Peep is to scratched to play. Fragile media targeted at 3-5 year olds needes to be backed up.

Re:Okay - some legitimate reasons for circumventio (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895910)

Yes it does neeed to be backed up, and I sympathise with this, but it's only a minority concern. A large number of people simply lack the technical capability to do this. It's also not a right people have come to expect in the last decade. Very few people copy video because it's too much effort. And a typical response wil be "Just go and buy another copy then!".

The best arguments are ones that appear show the way this works is clearly unfair, and any defence makes the defender look stupid.

Re:Okay - some legitimate reasons for circumventio (1)

Subrafta (848399) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896138)

Woohoo! I'm a minority!

Re:Okay - some legitimate reasons for circumventio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896393)

Me TOOO!... I would say that this minority is HUGE!!!

Re:Okay - some legitimate reasons for circumventio (3, Interesting)

operagost (62405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896164)

Since the industry keeps claiming that you are not buying a work but merely the license, they need to start treating it as such and accept a few limitations. Perhaps we need a regulation mandating that all media covered by the DMCA be replaceable by the vendor in case of damage for only the cost of the media. Of course, since everyone is a thief the cost will have to be set as well-- probably at 10% of the original sale price or a maximum of $10, adjusted for inflation yearly. Otherwise, we'll have them claiming that the media cost for a $14.99 Olsen Twins DVD is $14.50.

In Addition To Coherent (5, Informative)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895770)

"start writing a coherent stance for the USCO today."
 
.My wife works with the USPTO on a daily bases and she suggests that in addition to writing coherently, you should also write for the lowest common denominator in their audience. In her opinion you should aim for no more than an 8th grade level.

Re:In Addition To Coherent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896046)

That's pretty sad, considering that most newspapers and magazines aim for a 6th grade level. These are supposed to be professionals. Sigh.

Barrier to competition, barrier to discourse (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895775)

So you visit the page, where you can "leave comments through this webpage". There's no obvious way to do that. Then you click another link, and it takes you to something that looks like either an Internet RFC, or the text of a congressional bill. Somewhere on this page, there is a link to an official form that you have to use... but after you read the ominous "if you mail it , we might not get it" page, and click the link, it takes you back to the first page.
How many otherwise cogent arguments will be lost in this sea of silliness?
How many otherwise fallacious arguments will make it through the process, because those with vested interests have lobbyists?
Hey, EFF, help us out here...

Re:Barrier to competition, barrier to discourse (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896185)

It says right on that page that they are not accepting comments until November 2.

OK, here are my examples: (4, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895790)

... and no, 'I can't watch DVDs on Linux' isn't one of them. These people probably neither know nor care what Linux is, nor are they particularly bothered that we can't watch our imported-from-Japan DVDs of Naruto, so don't bother.

1: it kills 'fair use'. Traditionally, we've been allowed by copyright law to use small amounts of a given work for quotation, for review, for parody... However, the DMCA kills that off. Even if I'm allowed to use that small segment of the copyrighted work for my own purposes, I can't do so if it's technologically protected, even in the feeblest manner: the DMCA forbids that.

2: it encourages monopolies. Other than by means of Hymn, or burning to CD and then re-ripping, I can't play music downloaded from Apple on anything other than an iPod. Or, conversely, if I own an iPod I can't play music downloaded from anyone other than Apple on it. This has a chilling effect on the free market.

3: it threatens free speech itself. Even scholarly, academic discussion of cryptography has been curtailed by the DMCA, in cases where it touched on techniques that have been used to protect copyrighted works. Is it really more important to protect Hollywood's latest blockbuster than to have a free research base driving technology forward?

Re:OK, here are my examples: (4, Insightful)

g2devi (898503) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895927)

You forgot two big ones:

* Information rot. If copyright is tied to a specific physical device and no circumvention is allowed, that information will disappear disappear when the physical device dies. Information needs to be copied by third parties in order to be preserved for the future.

* Eternal copyright. Related to the first point, if no circumvention is allowed, things are locked up forever

Re:OK, here are my examples: (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895931)

Linux should be an example, but it's only one example among many.

When compact discs were designed in the 80's, there was no way they could forsee that people would be carrying around all of their CDs in a player that fits in their shirt pocket, would be able to use them in ringtones, make backups, have cheap kareoke machines, organize them in a library in iTunes, etc.

This is in stark contrast to DVD's, where they're not going anywhere in 20 years. Any device made to expand their uses in ways not forseen by the original designers will be illegal in most cases, or, if you're rich enough, you get the big industries to agree to your innovation. But that's in stark contrast to the open source philosophy. Open source shows that any random person can have a good idea, and if they can implement it and send that code to everyone else, that lone-individual model is an engine for innovation.

Re:OK, here are my examples: (1)

MROD (101561) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895933)

Just a minor correction to item (2) where you say:-

Or, conversely, if I own an iPod I can't play music downloaded from anyone other than Apple on it.

My iPod shuffle plays MP3s fine.

Though I guess that you're talking about other online vendors' DRM'd music files and no unencrypted MP3s.

Re:OK, here are my examples: (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896380)

In your reading of the DMCA (you did read it, right? You didn't just blindly repeat the rhetoric?) you missed this tidbit in the section on Circumvention of Copy Protection Systems:

`(c) OTHER RIGHTS, ETC., NOT AFFECTED- (1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c105:1:./tem p/~c105TQi7RV:e11962: [loc.gov]

Everyone post! (1)

ptarjan (593901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895850)

Please please please... everyone post your ideas on the website. If all of slashdot gets together we will make a difference. Just do your part. 5 minutes out of your day is worth it if you don't have to be a criminal to access your media.

Bound to happen (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895868)

This was bound to happen. The DMCA is some crazy piece of sh*t sprung from the mind of people unable to think the thing all the way through.
There are US american judges who even say that the DMCA is unconstitutional and thus doesn't apply where anti fair-use lobbys would like to have it.

This goes to show that even the US can only bear so much insanity in laws before people wake up and backpedal. We'll probably see a fair amount of trim-down on the DMCA until it's actually usable. Those are the big upsides of having a democracy, even if the individual democracies have their very personal system flaws.

Re:Bound to happen (3, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895957)

The DMCA is some crazy piece of sh*t sprung from the mind of people unable to think the thing all the way through.

No, it sprang from the minds of people who could and did think it all the way through. These were evil people. People at the *AAs. People who hate the public domain, except insofar as it provides stories for Disney to remake and earn a fortune from, and despise fair use.

It was then passed into law by people unable or unwilling to think the thing all the way through. These were lazy or greedy people. Your elected representatives. People who care little for the public domain, and are really more interested in campaign contributions, and don't like fair use because of that bit about parody, because parody is usually aimed against politicians...

Please Dupe This (2, Insightful)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895912)

This is the first time I'd actually like to see an article duped.

I'm glad this was posted now, because it gives us time to discuss this and compose a rational argument. But, since the site isn't taking comments until Nov 2nd, a lot of people will forget.

Bookmark it and put it on your calendar now! Finally, a reason to use the KOrganizer alarm daemon!

This Review Does not matter. (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895922)

This review happens by law under the DMCA every few years, this is NOT a hearing to determine if the DMCA should be repealed... another poster already pointed this out, but even if some use is made "exempt" from the dmca in these proceedings the law STILL prohibits production of the tools which would enable you to cirumvent the copy protection for said use. The issue of the DMCRA had already been settled years ago, when in a fair hearing the fair use crowd blew the **AA's out of the water and gained full support from the commerce committee (which is why, i assume, the judiciary won't let it onto the roster). The only reason it's not going anywhere is because key leaders (sensenbrenner) are thoroughly bribed, and let's not forget ms mary bono (sonny bono copyright extension anyone?) who vowed to oppose it at every opportunity.

Last go around (2, Interesting)

Kr3m3Puff (413047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895969)

My comment [copyright.gov] [PDF] from a few years ago (via the EFF [eff.org] ) still appears in the top 10 pages for my name when you search on Google.

This go around, I don't know if I am any more confident. Mine does fall under one of the valid reasons for legal circumvention of not being able to watch legit videos purchased in other regions. Even though the case was marked "Region 0" it appeaars it was encoded as "Region 2" and I live in "Region 1". The problem is the blanket exceptions. I would be fine if there was a "affermative defenses" clauses in the law that allowed you to get around it for things like making backup copies, transferring media, etc. The only one allowed is artistic or scientific pursuits because those laws appear to supercede the others.

Hm. (2, Funny)

ryuuzin (215760) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895984)

If you're reasonably ticked that you can't legally get around encrypted files to get at the media you've bought, start writing a coherent stance for the USCO today.

Coincidentally, NaNoWriMo is all of November...

Rejected before (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13895987)

I read a Wired News article http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,69115,00 .html?tw=wn_tophead_5 [wired.com] a while back about this. It seems that the copyright office has rejected requests to circumvent copy protection technology on CD's, DVD's, and video games. I do not hold out much hope this time around.

Dmitri (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896008)

Not being able to legally watch DVDs you bought because your OS isn't supported and you're not allowed to do it on your own (essentially) sucks, yes, but I actually think that there are more serious abuses of the DMCA.

Examples? Dmitri Sklyarov (who, if you don't recall, was arrested when he gave a talk at a conference in the USA because the company he worked for had created a product that allegedly violated the DMCA - nevermind that the company was based in Russia and thus not subject to US-American law) comes to mind, as does the 2600 case (you think that not being able to watch DVDs is bad? How about being told that you are not even allowed to link to sites that tell you how? I really don't see how this cannot be a violation of freedom of speech), or countless other things like printer manufacturers suing third-party companies for making compatible ink cartridges, or garage door companies suing for compatible third-party garage door remote controls (Chamberlain vs. Skylink), or Google being censored and not allowed to return certain websites in their search (some stuff relating to Kazaa, IIRC - Google for "Kazaa", and you'll get a link to the request they got) and so on.

Besides, pretty much *any* cease and desist letter sent to BitTorrent trackers etc. seems to reference the DMCA these days (witness the Pirate Bay's "legal threats" page for examples), even when there is no legal reason for it - it's merely included to scare and threaten people. And that certainly is not a good thing, either, because even if people do something that's wrong and/or illegal, you still shouldn't mispresent what they actually are doing, or try to tell them that what they're doing is a violation of this and that law when in reality, it isn't (I think this is implicit in the right to a fair trial).

"iPod with video" - halo effect applied to laws!? (3, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896033)

now that the iPod with video is out I think the ridiculous nature of the DMCA has become more apparent to some people.

if you live in USA and you copy your legally owned DVD to your iPod then you are a criminal facing the possibilty of a massive bitchslap. most people not living in "the land of the free" are fine.

imagine if it had been the case with CDs, this whole mess would have been sorted out earlier. but maybe now with portable video starting to take a few more steps it will be sorted out.

there was a DMCA case where (if I remember correctly) an automatic-garage-door manufacturer sued another company for making generic remote controls that could activate their doors. the judge said something along the lines that even though some encryption was circumvented in producing the generic remote the DMCA wasn't supposed to prevent people access to their own property (garage). this is similar to the DVD->portable video case.

how about this? (2, Interesting)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896090)

I bought a DVD player and I could not plug it directly to my VCR because of its "antipiracy" technology, however I just wanted to get the signal through the VCR because my TV set doesn't have the right connectors.

Yes, there are solutions: buy a new TV, get a FR modulator (by the way, is that legal under DMCA?) Anyway the point is that it's my VCR and by TV and my DVD and I sould be able to connect them however I want, but if I try to circumvent the stupid "antipiracy" I break the law -- that's stupid.

Voting Machines (2, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896213)

If you're reasonably ticked that you can't legally get around encrypted files

Haven't seen anyone mention yet that it would be nice if our officials could learn how our voting machines work. Not as important as ripping CDs, I guess.

3 parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896343)

Haven't seen anyone mention yet that it would be nice if our officials could learn how our voting machines work.
It'd also be nice if we could prevent illegal aliens from using them.
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