July 19, 2024

Archives for December 2002

Happy Holidays

There will be few if any postings here until January 2. Enjoy the holidays, and I’ll see you here next year!

DMCA Submission Site

The U.S. government’s Copyright Office has put up a site containing all of the requested exemptions from the DMCA’s ban on circumvention of access controls. There are fifty submissions in all, including mine.

In January, the reply comment period will open. Anyone can submit reply comments, either opposing or supporting any of the requested exemptions. Watch this space, as the reply comment period approaches, for specifics on how to participate.

Take It Easy on Donna Today

One of the apparent themes this week is the Conspiracy to Silence Donna Wentworth. First, Donna’s great blog, Copyfight, was apparently being blocked by the CyberPatrol web filtering software as “possibly inappropriate content.” Then two issues of Donna’s email newsletter, The Filter, were labeled by SpamAssassin as “probably spam.” (Seth Finkelstein diagnoses the latter problem, and has suspicions about the former.)

So if Donna starts acting a bit paranoid, let’s take it easy on her. This week, the world really has been out to get her.

Another Voice on Compulsory Music Licensing

Over at BoingBoing, Xeni Jardin discusses Ken Hertz’s speech accepting an ACLU Bill of Rights Award. Hertz advocates a compulsory license for online music sharing. (This is something I have discussed (but not endorsed) before.)

The significance of this, according to Xeni, is that Ken Hertz has represented several big-name musicians, including Will Smith and Alanis Morissette, so he is not exactly an outsider.

Movie Studios File DMCA Suit Against 321

According to an AP story by Ron Harris,

Seven major motion picture studios filed a counterclaim Thursday in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California against 321 Studios, makers of DVD Copy Plus and DVD X Copy.

The software sold at stores nationwide allows the user to make a copy of a DVD to a blank CD or DVD by defeating the copy protections encoded onto the original movie disc. The studios contend that is an illegal activity.

The movie studios say the software contains the power of digital piracy, and asked the court to enjoin 321 Studios from selling it or distributing it. The studios also seek damages from any proceeds derived from the company’s software sales.

“It’s like somebody selling a digital crowbar. It’s like breaking into the castle if you will,” said Patricia Benson, an attorney for the studios.

I’m not sure what castle Ms. Benson is referring to, but the crowbar analogy pretty much speaks for itself. Ms. Benson would doubtless be shocked to learn that an outfit calling itself “Ace Hardware” is selling crowbars openly, right here in sleepy Princeton, New Jersey.