Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Copyright, and what you can get away with

I've recently been seeing a fair number of articles focusing on one or another of the Librarian of Congress' new anti-circumvention rules -- basically, the official statement about what DMCA violations they specifically intend to *not* prosecute. The full list makes interesting reading. It's quite short, so you may want to look it over yourself, but summarizing my understanding of it, it allows:
  • Building educational compilations of A/V works for media studies courses.

  • Making archival copies of programs (specifically including video games) that can no longer be used in their original form.

  • Circumventing access controls that require dongles that are no longer available. (I am amused that the jargon term "dongle" is showing up in official government documents.)

  • Breaking open ebooks whose distributed format isn't accessible for, eg, text-to-speech.

  • Breaking the programs that "lock" cell phones to specific cellular networks. (This is the one that surprised me, and I'm not sure the interpretation is right, but it seems to be how folks are taking it.)

  • Doing what you need to do to clean up the Sony copy-protection-rootkit mess. (They don't mention Sony by name, but I'm sure that's the incident that inspired this particular rule.)
Not exactly world-changing, but a nice set of common-sense exemptions. Would that we saw more of that in government...
Tags: copyright

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