November 30, 2005

EFF: DMCA Rulemaking Broken

DMCA Triennial Rulemaking: Failing Consumers Completely is EFF's posting on their report "documenting why we believe the process is so broken that we have decided not to propose any [consumer-oriented] exemptions this time."

I concur. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments.

The most relevant part of the report concerning public participation is the section:

B. Impenetrable Complexity, Impossible Burdens.

For example, any individual interested in participating meaningfully in the 2006 rulemaking procedure must begin by reading the 6-page 2005 Federal Register Notice, the 30-page 2003 Determination and Final Order, the Register's 200-page recommendation memorandum in the 2003 proceeding, and the 18 page Final Rule issued in 2000. Each of these documents is written by and for those familiar with many of the most complex and arcane provisions of the Copyright Act.

Moreover, the Copyright Office requires that those seeking DMCA exemptions:

[long list of requirements]

Simply put, this does not facilitate participation by members of the public. Meeting these onerous requirements generally requires the assistance of specialized copyright attorneys, technical experts, researchers, and industry analysts. Without expert assistance, individual digital consumers cannot reasonably gather the expertise and devote the time necessary to participate successfully in the DMCA rulemaking process.

Even with expert assistance, the burdens imposed by the Copyright Office on participants often prove nearly insurmountable. ...

I hereby attest: I went through those burdens, and EFF is not exaggerating or hyping. The description nearly insurmountable is accurate. The process is broken, and DMCA reform must come from other avenues.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight , dmca | on November 30, 2005 07:53 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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