DMCA (was: Rockwell patch for Windows XP?)


Thread Starter

Ralph Mackiewicz

> On the DCMA, here's the meat and potatoes -
> Note exception 3 on pages 5. Is the real problem here
> with this law of the way publishers want to interpret
> it ?

No. I think the problem with DMCA is DMCA itself. I'll give you an example:

I have evaluated the Adobe eBook reader that this Russian programmer had circumvented. I think the reader is terrible. There is no way that I will ever buy an eBook if I have to use that lousy piece of software to read it. Now suppose that I have legally purchased an eBook. I would want to print the book so that I can read it in my own way. The exemptions in the law would apparently allow this. If I had the programming skills of that Russian I could crack the security and write my own program and there isn't anything that the copyright owner could do about it. This is allowed under the fair use doctrine.

BUT: this is a meaningless exemption because I don't have the skills of this Russian. I am dependent on others providing me the tools that I need in order for me to utilize my fair use privileges in the digital world. However, with DMCA no one is allowed to develop the software in the first place. This same exemption for public libraries is equally meaningless. I don't know of too many public libraries that keep computer security experts on staff to write copy protection cracking software for them.

The problem is that DMCA prohibits a form of expression (aka speech). The big media companies want their forms of expression protected but have decided that other forms are antithetical to their interests. I don't see what makes their form of expression so special that they deserve exclusive legal protection.

<rant>I am not normally prone to corporation bashing (most corporation bashing in my opinion results from over active imaginations of conspiracies and an over estimation of the collective intelligence of corporations) but this one is over the top for me. And, it was done out in the open for all to see. No secret conspiracy here. DMCA's purpose is to protect the market interest of big media companies so that they don't have to respond to the competitive pressures being brought to bear on them by emerging digital technology. Rather than improving their efficiency, price, licensing,
and distribution models (as their customers are obviously demanding) they have bought themselves a law and an army of willing government agents to prosecute it for them. The former takes real talent which they apparently don't have. The latter only requires money which they do have plenty of thanks to such continued market protections.</rant>


Ralph Mackiewicz
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Curt Wuollet

Hi Ralph

We aren't in complete agreement very often, but you have found the very heart of why I come across as anti corporation while actually being quite conservative. I have no problem with corporations, merely the blatent abuses especially when aided by congresscritters who will
do anything for a contribution. If you want to see this on a truly grand and unapologetic scale, look into UCITA. Never since the days of the railroad barons has government granted such unfettered license to corporations to abuse the rights of consumers. And the protection to do it with complete impunity under the guise of making laws uniform between states. When one considers that software concerns are just about the only entities that can completely disclaim responsibility for anything and get away with it, the idea that they need more protection and weapons to use against consumers is ridiculous.
But, you'd better get your complaining done quickly before UCITA comes to your state. UCITA makes it illegal to tell anyone you were ripped off. I'll leave you to guess who's behind this.


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