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[FYI]US Law makes breaking technological safeguards illegal


In a decision giving copyright holders greater
             control over the way people use books,
          movies and music that are distributed in digital
          form, the United States Copyright Office on
          Friday endorsed a new federal law making it
          illegal to break the technological safeguards
          for such works. 

          The statute goes into effect immediately.

          The ruling was a defeat for several
          constituencies — including universities,
          libraries and computer programmers — that
          had argued that the law should preserve
          traditional rights to archive and lend out
          copyrighted material or to use so-called
          reverse-engineering to understand how a piece
          of technology works.

          The ruling, issued by the Library of Congress, which          
oversees the
          copyright office, will be in effect for three years, during       
which the
          copyright office will continue to examine its effect.

          In a statement, the Library of Congress said that it          
intended to ask
          Congress to reconsider that time frame, noting the          
"potential damage to
          scholarship may well ensue in the course of a three-year          

          Under the law, civil statutory damages for gaining access to      
a piece of
          copyrighted material secured by computer code range from          
$200 to
          $2,500. Criminal penalties includes fines of as much as $1        
million or 10
          years in jail for repeat offenses. 

Say Bye to Slow Internet!