After years of protesting against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)'s anti-circumvention provisions and the broken process of gaining exemptions from it, the Copyright Office calls for comments on how to "improve" the system. But the system cannot be fixed. We need to end the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions now.
Donald Robertson's blog
The blight of the DMCA continues as another round of the anti-circumvention exemptions process comes to a close.
We have written previously about the organizations and individuals who opposed exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions. These drones oppose the rights of users to backup, modify, and study the software and devices that we own. The DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions create legal penalties for simply accessing your software under your own terms, and raises those penalties even higher should dare to share the tools needed to do so. It creates real penalties for anyone who wants to avoid Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) controls. The granting of exemptions to these totalitarian rules is a broken and half-hearted attempt to limit the damage these rules bring, granting for 3 years a reprieve for certain specified devices and software.
These DRM offenders tried to squelch anti-circumvention exemptions; let them know that DRM is always wrong.
Every three years, supporters of user rights are forced to go through a Kafkaesque process fighting for exemptions from the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We explain this process more fully in our announcement of the comments we filed this year. In short, under the DMCA's rules, everything not permitted is forbidden.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has one particularly draconian measure criminalizing the circumvention of digital restrictions management (DRM). This section, which appears in law as 17 U.S.C §1201 states that "[n]o person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work". This facet of the law completely violates users' rights to their own devices, and their legitimate use rights to copyrighted works.