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Tuesday, 24 February 2004


Findlaw reports that an American court has found that software that allows consumers to circumvent protection measures that prevent consumers from copying DVDs is in breach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The defendant, 321 Studios, had argued that its technology was not in breach because it allowed consumers to make fair use of the material protected by the circumvention protection measures – for example, to make back-ups in case of the original work being damages and for journalistic use. According to Judge Susan Illston though, the software, which contains “keys” to unlock the protection on the DVDs, was illegal. Moreover, the DMCA was found to be compatible with free speech and not to interfere with the free use rights of consumers. 321 has said it will appeal.

While the IPKat doesn’t advocate copyright infringement, he is most definitely in favour of the fair use provisions of copyright works, which strike the balance between the interests of copyright owners and the interest of other actors in having access to copyright works. In so far as this balance is not struck in the DMCA by the absence of fair use exceptions, he is not a happy cat.

DMCA here YMCA here

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