November 14, 2003

Chamberlain v. Skylink - Garage Door Opener as (not) DMCA Violation, confirmed

"Chamberlain v. Skylink - Garage Door Opener as (not) DMCA Violation" case has now been decided, in favor of the freedom to open garage doors.

The earlier decision was preliminary, but this district court decision is the end of this round, no more arguments at the district court level (but there could still be appeals).

It is a great day if you're a garage door, or interested in them. Most interestingly, the basis for the decision seems to again put much stress on "expectations":

Chamberlain concedes that it never warned customers against using unauthorized transmitters but explains that it did not do so because it had no idea that other transmitters could be made to operate its rolling code [garage door openers]. ... Chamberlain's failure to anticipate such technology, however, does not refute the fact that homeowners have a reasonable expectation of using the technology now that it is available.


[garage door openers] transmitters are similar to television remote controls in that consumers of both products may need to replace them at some point due to damage or loss, and may program them to work with other devices manufactured by different companies. In both cases, consumers have a reasonable expectation that they can replace the original product with a competing, universal product without violating federal law.

Well, there's many people who think they have all sorts of "reasonable expectations" of what they can do with the DVD's they have purchased, but sadly, that hasn't ever seemed to sway a court (yet?).

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in dmca , legal | on November 14, 2003 01:43 AM (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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