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Do the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright (DMCA) Act further or harm public interests?

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Presentation on theme: "Do the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright (DMCA) Act further or harm public interests?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Do the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright (DMCA) Act further or harm public interests?

2 What is the DMCA First we need to know what the World World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is.

3 What is WIPO? The World World Intellectual Property Organization is a United Nations agency. Setup in 1967 to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world Currently 182 member states are a member of the WIPO.

4 What is the DMCA? Member states signed The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty signed in Signing countries promised to implement these treaties in law. So the DMCA is the American implementation of the WIPO treaty. There is a European version called the EUCD. Very similar.

5 DMCA The DMCA Covers many areas. But Im interested in the Anti Circumvention provisions of the law.

6 Summary of Anti Circumvention Provisions Prohibits: The act of circumventing technological protection systems. Devices / software that allow the circumvention of access control or copy controls. Publishing methods to circumvent a protection system. (e.g. publishing source code).

7 Why was the DMCA required The circumvention provisions of the act where mainly intended to stop black box descramblers used for free cable TV. Pressure from entertainment industry. Arms race between technology and Intellectual Property law.

8 Arms Race? Before the Printing Press was invented it was to costly pirate someone elses work. Printing press allows cheap copies. Licensing Act in 1662 in England which protected printers against piracy. Laws strengthened over time to catch up with technology – home recording etc.

9 Do we need these new laws? Computers make perfect and cheap copies of digital media. Its difficult to catch pirates because of anonymous nature of the internet. Cyberspace offers the worst of both worlds for IP owners place where the ability to copy could not be better and where the protection of law could not be worse (Lessig).

10 However…. Technology gives control to IP owners. Technology can control how we can consume / use IP. User has lost traditional rights. (fair use, read a book as many times as you like, lend it to a friend, sell it…) But cant do this with copy protected electronic books – safari book shelf Napster subscription based music – stops working when subscription ends. DVDs region encoded. (Bought in another country cant use on your machine).

11 No balance of power between user and IP owner The DMCA and protection technology give total control to IP owner. If a user wants to regain these rights they must break the law. (circumvent)

12 Is the DMCA Suppressing Free Speech? Dmitry Sklyarov a Russian PhD student was arrested in California after giving a presentation on eBook's Security protection. The Hacker magazine 2600 for refusing to remove DECSS source code from its website (circumvents DVD encryption system). Security text book for our course author states he is afraid of printing methods for circumventing DVD encryption.

13 Researchers Scared of Court Cases Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) introduced a policy requiring all authors to indemnify IEEE for any liabilities incurred should a submission result in legal action under the DCMA Edward Felton a Princeton University professor – publishing Secure Digital Music Initiative water mark circumvention technique.

14 Conclusion Copyright law needed to to promote the progress of science and useful arts. The DMCA is being misused: 1.Suppresses free speech. 2.Stifles innovation – researchers scared to publish work. 3.Denies traditional rights such as fair use. And requires us to break law to reclaim those rights.


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