Wednesday, November 22, 2006

DMCA Exemptions

The U.S. Register of Copyrights has just issued some useful exemptions to the DMCA - as she has limited power to do.

More - much more - is here and here. AP has a good explanation of all of this.

The first exemption is quite interesting for Canada:

1. Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors.

That would appear to correspond with what US law is in the non-digital context by reason of their general fair use doctrine.

This is the kind of thing that CMEC and the educators should be striving for in Canada - namely clarification or provision - but only where really necessary - of activities to be treated as examples of fair dealing in Canada. This is something achievable - especially when the USA treats is educators so much better than does Canada.

Instead, our educators have passively accepted the disaster of C-32 and are now going too far to the other extreme with their proposal for a sweeping special exception for educational use of the internet, which manages to be both unnecessary in some respects and excessively vague and overreaching in others. This has managed to alienate a lot of diverse interests and will no doubt distract from what are likely to be the real battles in the next bill, including staving off DMCA North. It could also badly distract from the more reasonable and achievable goals that the educators should be pursuing.

Another interesting one is this:

6. Sound recordings, and audiovisual works associated with those sound recordings, distributed in compact disc format and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully purchased works and create or exploit security flaws or vulnerabilities that compromise the security of personal computers, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing, investigating, or correcting such security flaws or vulnerabilities.

Did anyone say "SONY Rootkit?"


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