Friday, May 06, 2005

Support DMCA Reform - Help Pass HR 1201

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is collecting support for a bill that would help reduce the DCMA restrictions.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has been wreaking havoc on consumers' fair use rights for the past seven years. Now Congress is considering the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA, HR 1201), a bill that would reform part of the DMCA and formally protect the 'Betamax defense' relied on by so many innovators.

HR 1201 would give citizens the right to circumvent copy-protection measures as long as what they're doing is otherwise legal. For example, it would make sure that when you buy a CD, whether it is copy-protected or not, you can record it onto your computer and move the songs to an MP3 player. It would also protect a computer science professor who needs to bypass copy-protection to evaluate encryption technology. In addition, the bill would codify the Betamax defense, which has been under attack by the entertainment industries in the 'INDUCE Act' last year and the MGM v. Grokster case currently before the Supreme Court. This kind of sanity would be a welcome change to our copyright law.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

This bill sounds like an excellent idea. The DMCA alarmingly curtailed people's ability to use digital content in an otherwise legal manner. I've seen eBooks of public domain works that carry copy protection. The DMCA makes it illegal for me to print more than my daily allotment of pages even if I could legally duplicate and sell the same work if I owned it in any other format.