Thursday, February 7, 2013

Case Study No. 0775: James H. Billington

Good News, Everyone!
Electronic Frontier Foundation homepage:

Extra Credit Reading:

U.S. Copyright Act Section 107 ("Fair Use Clause"): fl102.html

DMCA Wikipedia Entry: Digital_Millennium_ Copyright_Act

U.S. Copyright Office Statement of the Librarian of Congress: 1201/2010/ Librarian-of-Congress- 1201-Statement.html

A much more readable summary by Gizomodo: 2010/07/ drm-buster-faq- what-it-means-for-you/
Tags: dmca copyright hbi2k dragon box chichi
Added: 2 years ago
From: hbi2k
Views: 15,852

["Disclaimer: hbi2k is not a lawyer and nothing he says here should be construed as legal advice. Got it? Good." appears on screen, then cut to a picture of Ben Creighton dressed as a Jedi]
BEN: Hi everybody! Today I wanna talk to you about a little something called the DMCA. Y'see, once upon a time there was a thing in copyright law called "Fair Use" ...
["Read all about it in 17 U.S.C 107!" appears on screen, then cut back to the picture of Ben]
BEN: This was a part of copyright law that said if you bought something that was copyrighted, like say a DVD, you could do stuff like make backup copies for personal use. Maybe rip the footage and use it in a mashup video, like the sorta thing you see on YouTube.
[cut to a still from "The Simpsons" showing Mister Burns and the Monopoly Guy]
BEN: But then in 1998, a bunch of douchebags with more money than God got together and bullied Congress into passing something called the "Digital Millenium Copyright Act" ...
["Digital Millenium Copyright Act" appears on screen]
BEN: This law did a lot of fucked-up things, but the one that we're concerned with here is that it made it illegal to break encryption on copyrighted materials. So if I bought, say ...
[a picture of the "Dragon Ball Z" DVD Box Set (with the text "Always support the official release!") appears on screen]
BEN: "Dragon Box 1" - available now on Amazon! - and I wanted to use the footage to make, say, something like this ...
[cut to footage from the cartoon of Goku running, with A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)" dubbed in]
BEN: Then that use of the footage might be considered fair use, but technically I'm still breaking the law by bypassing the encryption to rip the footage in the first place. However, it turns out that there's also a clause in the DMCA that brings it up for review by the Librarian of Congress every three years ...
[cut to a diagram of the Library of Congress]
BEN: And he just released a new set of six exceptions, special cases in which the DMCA does not apply. And one of them is ... you guessed it, nonprofit mashup videos! So if I wanted to make something like, say, this!
[cut to footage from the cartoon of female character Chi-Chi, with Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" dubbed in]
BEN: Last week, would've technically been illegal. This week, perfectly legal!
["Well, mostly. The music is still a point of some contention, and you can never be sure how legal anything is until it's tested in court." appears on screen]
BEN: Who do we have to thank for this? Well, first of all obviously, the Librarian of Congress himself.
[cut to a poster for the movie "The Librarian: Quest for the Spear"]
BEN: Now, full disclosure ... I do work at a library.
[cut to a still image of Conan the Librarian from the movie "UHF" (with the text "What is best in life? To shush the noisy. To see them driving home. And to hear the silence of the library.")]
BEN: And y'know, I've noticed that anytime there's a government employee who doesn't seem to have his head totally up his own ass, chances are they have the word "library" somewhere in their job description.
[cut to a poster for the movie "The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice"]
BEN: And anytime there's a struggle over freedom of expression or censorship, libraries are always front and center fighting for your rights! But they're also one of the first public services to feel the axe anytime there's a budget crunch. So support your local library with donations, or by fighting for them if your city or county is talking about cutting funding. But who do you think it was who was leaning on the Librarian of Congress to consider issues like this in the first place? I'll tell you who, it was the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
[cut to a picture of the EFF logo]
BEN: That's a special interest gruop that's always lobbying for the rights of little guys like us against big fat corporate douchebags when it comes to technological and free-speech issues like this!
[cut to a poster of Uncle Sam with the words "You are a bag of douche"]
BEN: This is the first victory we've had in awhile, but the fight is far from over. So if you can spare anything to donate to the cause, please do so. And you know that I never bring something like this to your attention unless it's something that I've supported with my hard-earned dollars myself!
[cut to more Dragonball Z footage, with audio from the game "Fallout 3" (the character Three Dog saying "Looks like the good fight has gained a new ally!") dubbed in]



July 26, 2010
Librarian of Congress Announces DMCA Section 1201 Rules for Exemptions Regarding Circumvention of Access-Control Technologies

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today released the following statement:

Section 1201(a)(1) of the copyright law requires that every three years I am to determine whether there are any classes of works that will be subject to exemptions from the statute's prohibition against circumvention of technology that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work. I make that determination at the conclusion of a rulemaking proceeding conducted by the Register of Copyrights, who makes a recommendation to me. Based on that proceeding and the Register's recommendation, I am to determine whether the prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works is causing or is likely to cause adverse effects on the ability of users of any particular classes of copyrighted works to make noninfringing uses of those works. The classes of works that I designated in the previous proceeding expire at the end of the current proceeding unless proponents of a class prove their case once again.

This is the fourth time that I have made such a determination. Today I have designated six classes of works. Persons who circumvent access controls in order to engage in noninfringing uses of works in these six classes will not be subject to the statutory prohibition against circumvention.

As I have noted at the conclusion of past proceedings, it is important to understand the purposes of this rulemaking, as stated in the law, and the role I have in it. This is not a broad evaluation of the successes or failures of the DMCA. The purpose of the proceeding is to determine whether current technologies that control access to copyrighted works are diminishing the ability of individuals to use works in lawful, noninfringing ways. The DMCA does not forbid the act of circumventing copy controls, and therefore this rulemaking proceeding is not about technologies that control copying. Nor is this rulemaking about the ability to make or distribute products or services used for purposes of circumventing access controls, which are governed by a different part of section 1201.

In this rulemaking, the Register of Copyrights received 19 initial submissions proposing 25 classes of works, many of them duplicative in subject matter, which the Register organized into 11 groups and published in a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on the proposed classes. Fifty-six comments were submitted. Thirty-seven witnesses appeared during the four days of public hearings in Washington and in Palo Alto, California. Transcripts of the hearings, copies of all of the comments, and copies of other information received by the Register have been posted on the Copyright Office's website.

The six classes of works are:

(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos

(2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.

(3) Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.

(4) Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:
(i) The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
(ii) The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law.

(5) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace; and

(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book's read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.

All of these classes of works find their origins in classes that I designated at the conclusion of the previous rulemaking proceeding, but some of the classes have changed due to differences in the facts and arguments presented in the current proceeding. For example, in the previous proceeding I designated a class that enable film and media studies professors to engage in the noninfringing activity of making compilations of film clips for classroom instruction. In the current proceeding, the record supported an expansion of that class to enable the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into documentary films and noncommercial videos for the purpose of criticism or comment, when the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that it is necessary to fulfill that purpose. I agree with the Register that the record demonstrates that it is sometimes necessary to circumvent access controls on DVDs in order to make these kinds of fair uses of short portions of motion pictures.

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