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[FYI] Unintended Consequences: Three Years Under the DMCA
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- Subject: [FYI] Unintended Consequences: Three Years Under the DMCA
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- Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 23:19:21 +0200
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Electronic Frontier Foundation
Three Years under the DMCA
1. Executive Summary
Since they were enacted in 1998, the “anticircumvention” provisions of
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), codified in section
1201 of the Copyright Act, have not been used as Congress envisioned.
Congress meant to stop copyright pirates from defeating anti-piracy
protections added to copyrighted works, and to ban “black box” devices
intended for that purpose.
In practice, the anti-circumvention provisions have been used to stifle
a wide array of legitimate activities, rather than to stop copyright
piracy. As a result, the DMCA has developed into a serious threat to
three important public policy priorities:
Section 1201 Chills Free Expression and Scientific Research.
Experience with section 1201 demonstrates that it is being used to
stifle free speech and scientific research. The lawsuit against 2600
magazine, threats against Princeton Professor Edward Felten’s team of
researchers, and prosecution of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov have
chilled the legitimate activities of journalists, publishers,
scientists, students, programmers, and members of the public.
Section 1201 Jeopardizes Fair Use.
By banning all acts of circumvention, and all technologies and tools
that can be used for circumvention, section 1201 grants to copyright
owners the power to unilaterally eliminate the public’s fair use
rights. Already, the music industry has begun deploying “copy-protected
CDs” that promise to curtail consumers’ ability to make legitimate,
personal copies of music they have purchased.
Section 1201 Impedes Competition and Innovation.
Rather than focusing on pirates, many copyright owners have chosen to
use the DMCA to hinder their legitimate competitors. For example, Sony
has invoked section 1201 to protect their monopoly on Playstation video
game consoles, as well as their “regionalization” system limiting
users in one country from playing games legitimately purchased in
This document collects a number of reported cases where the
anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA have been invoked not against
pirates, but against consumers, scientists, and legitimate competitors.
It will be updated from time to time as additional cases come to light.
The latest version can always be obtained at www.eff.org.
Es findet sich leider noch keine Text-Version bei google.
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