2006/04/25

Fair Use Under Attack - The Son of the DMCA Is Here

For those of you who don't keep up with copyright issues--the continual erosion of your right to use the content you've purchased as you see fit--the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the law that keeps you from making copies of your DVDs. (Well...ok...maybe it doesn't prevent you from doing it, but it makes the door prize 5 years in the Federal pen if Universal decides to take it out on you.)

Well, "fair-use" advocates have been trying for years to roll back the DMCA's provisions, and it looks as if Congress is going to blow them off and do exactly the opposite. A new bill, the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006, is a Bu$hCo backed hodgepodge of laws that the RIAA and their ilk are drooling over.

Remember Sony's "Root kit", the bit-o-software installed when you played their CDs on your computer? It not only opened up your PC to Sony but exposed it to the rest of the world. Under DMCA, the Princeton researchers who uncovered the root-kit could have been prosecuted for revealing it to the world. Under DMCA-II, they could be prosecuted merely for discovering it's presence.

And what about the issue of piracy itself? Well DMCA criminalizes the act of bypassing copyright protection with the intent to redistribute. DMCA-II makes it a crime merely to possess the means to bypass copyright protection. This also has an interesting side-effect: Researchers of security vulnerabilities could be prosecuted under DMCA-II just for going about their work, even if they choose not to publish their findings.

Finally, here's a little gem for all of you bloggers out there, DMCA-II boosts penalties for non-commercial piracy of photos, news, or video from 5 to 10 years in prison when the damage can be demonstrated to be over $1000.00.

All in all, this bill is a messy giveaway to Big Content that is backed by the Justice Department (duh!) and a gaggle of representatives with ties to the entertainment industry.

8 Comments:

Tell me my jaw didn't drop at the photos line.

That's one of the main reasons I never put up advertising so I am totally no-profit. I've thought alot about the risk in the use of the pictures. Really, one of the reasons I often don't credit them is to make them less likely to show up if somebody's looking for them. I go back and forth on that.


Mike
That could really put a damper on Blogtopia. I mean...we could still have it, but it sure wouldn't be as much fun. Big content needs to hold onto the right to be vapid, bland and omnipresent, I guess. We'll just learn to draw fast.
The price of Cds and Dvds is ridiculous, when you consider the costs.One of the reasons I stopped buying CDs and DVDs is the fact that a certain percentage of what I pay goes to subsidize bad entertainment. While I do feel that ripping your own CDs and Dvds is stealing, I don't think that the RIAA and the MPAA are going to track down everybody with the technology, just a select few to make examples of them. (perhaps, like George Bush, who claimed to listen to the Beatles on his iPod before they were licensed for that) .
Oh Ms. Yenta, I do believe that we've identified a new industry here..."DrawFast", a way for thousands of art-school students to make a living doing quickie illustration for blogs and other small content providers.

Quick, go acquire the domain, and I'll draw up the business plan! :-)
While I do feel that ripping your own CDs and Dvds is stealing...

Lew, let me get this straight...you feel that ripping the CDs that you own is stealing? Or CDs that you do not own?

If it's the latter, than I agree. An artist that chooses to participate in the existing distribution system deserves my respect by my not stealing their work. But if you talking about what I myself own...then uh, uh! The RIAA can make that argument, and they're trying, but they're wrong despite their twisting of copyright law.
Did you read this little tidbit?

"During a speech in November, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales endorsed the idea and said at the time that he would send Congress draft legislation. Such changes are necessary because new technology is "encouraging large-scale criminal enterprises to get involved in intellectual-property theft," Gonzales said, adding that proceeds from the illicit businesses are used, "quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities."

God.. how can they attach fearmongering to a digital copyrights bill? I guess that time I bought a bootleg screener of Lord of the Rings from some shady guy in my office, I was supporting terrorism.
Drew, I did, couldn't believe it! Interestingly (or maybe horrifyingly) that would bump the penalty for piracy into the 25 year range since it could then be considered a "terrorist offense". Un-fracking-believable.
Freedom to tinker had a whack at this law too. The 10 year max. sentence is the same as what duke cunningham got for millions in bribes versus playing around with some electronics and bits of software.

Make it stop! please!

Add a comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link