February 12, 2003

DMCA exemptions reply comments, one week left

Seven more reply-comment days for DMCA ...

Useful general references:

"EFF is helping individuals fight for DMCA exemptions."

"How To Win (DMCA) Exemptions And Influence Policy"

"Winning (DMCA) Exemptions, The Next Round"

Article below:

DMCA Opponents Target Change

Programmer Seth Finkelstein has some advice when venting about shortcomings of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Watch your language.

Finkelstein won one of two exemptions from the U.S. Copyright Office the last time it sought input on the controversial law in 2000. And he did it, he says, by carefully crafting an argument based on practical effects of a DMCA prohibition that prevented decrypting "censorware blacklists" used by content filtering software.

"The most surprising thing about the process was that they listened,"Finkelstein says.

Every three years, the Copyright Office must make a public inquiry into adverse effects caused by specific DMCA restrictions that protect copyrighted works. The first deadline for written comment is over, but it's still possible to chime in by filing comments on one of the 50 arguments now on the record-including 10 related to information security (www.copyright.gov/1201/2003/comments/index.html). The deadline is Feb. 19.

Even the Copyright Office admits its 2000 recommendation ratio of 2 to 235 is "modest," mainly because most comments, though eloquently presented, failed to show how the law inhibited research. Admittedly, examples were hard to come by in the last round, since the law was still relatively new and untested in the courts.

This round is different. Though there are fewer written arguments (mainly because of stricter submission guidelines), there also are more specific instances to cite, such as Princeton University professor Edward Felten's legal tussle with the recording industry over publishing an academic exercise in breaking the watermarks on musical digital files.

"It's going to be harder for them to say there's not enough evidence in certain cases," he says. But, he adds, "though the chance is greater, it's definitely not a sure thing."

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in dmca | on February 12, 2003 05:48 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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