Items tagged "DMCA"

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Will Walden Wipe Out DMCA Just To Hack At Net Neutrality? Make My Day!

April 10, 2013 DMCA , FCC , ITU , Network Neutrality

Today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will begin mark up of the so-called “Internet Freedom Bill.” As explained in the Majority Briefing Memo, we’re still on about that whole “the ITU will take control of the Internet and black helicopters will come for out name servers” thing.”  Unfortunately, as keeps happening with this, it looks like some folks want to hijac

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We’re Asking Congress to Fix the DMCA

March 28, 2013 Anti-circumvention , DMCA , DRM

Today, we sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, asking them to pass a strong, permanent fix to the cell phone unlocking problem, and to take a deeper look at the problems caused by the anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA. The letter, available here, is signed by over thirty consumer groups, companies, and online communities, and joined by a number of academics and activists.

We want to make sure that all of the people who were upset that the DMCA could prevent them from unlocking their phones get a solution that actually fixes the problem by changing the law, not just reversing the Library of Congress’s decision and waiting for a do-over a few years from now.

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Why is Congress Expanding Enforcement of the DMCA?

March 26, 2013 DMCA , DRM , Enforcement

It’s no longer a debate: people recognize that the anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA are flawed. Insofar as they keep people from doing things like unlocking their cell phones, over 100,000 people and the White House have said so, members of Congress have said so, and the FCC has said so. There’s also widespread recognition that the DMCA as a whole needs reevaluation, which the Register of Copyrights recognizes.

So why are we seeing simultaneous efforts to double down on enforcing a defective law?

Yesterday, Senators Baucus and Hatch introduced a hefty bill on trade issues.

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A Quick Guide to the Current Phone Unlocking Bills

March 22, 2013 DMCA , DRM , Internet Blueprint

As you probably know, there are currently three different proposals to make sure that you can unlock your phone, despite the Library of Congress’s thoughts on the matter.

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Notes From Today’s Hearing: The Register’s Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law

March 21, 2013 Copyright Office , DMCA , Enforcement , First Sale , Internet Blueprint

Maria Pallante, the Register of Copyrights (and thus, head of the Copyright Office) was the sole witness in a hearing today with an ambitious title: “The Register’s Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law.” (An archived copy of the hearing is here) Her testimony provides a guide to the sorts of changes she thinks are necessary in the coming years.

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Senate Commerce Committee to FCC, “The Game is Changing. Are We Keeping Up?”

March 14, 2013 Broadband , DMCA , Future of Video

On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee held its first FCC oversight hearing of the year.  All 5 Commissioners attended and Senators discussed their laundry list of priorities and pet projects.  While Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) pressed hard on funding for FirstNet, there were several other topics important to the public interest addressed in the hearing.

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No One’s “Signed Away” the Right to Unlock Cell Phones

March 14, 2013 DMCA , DRM , Forum Shopping , USTR

Several people have raised the specter of trade agreements standing in the way of cell phone unlocking. The basic idea is that, in a broad trade negotiation between the US and South Korea (and in a number of others), the two countries agreed to make sure their copyright laws had certain similar features. Among those were requirements that they have laws against breaking digital locks to access copyrighted works, and that they only have certain kinds of exemptions to them. Cell phone unlocking is not one of the specific exemptions.

Mike Masnick at Techdirt characterizes this (at least in the article’s title) as the US “signing away” its ability to enact a more permanent exemption for phone unlocking.

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Cell Phone Unlocking: The Root of the Problem (and Solution) is in Copyright

March 5, 2013 Copyright Office , DMCA , DRM , Internet Blueprint

Yesterday, the White House responded to a We the People petition on phone unlocking, stating that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones and tablets. This puts the administration in line with a large number of consumers who are upset that the Library of Congress refused to exempt phone unlocking (modifying phone software so consumers can use their phones with a different mobile phone company) from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA.”)

However, the White House statement doesn’t reverse the Library’s decision, and nothing in the statement seems to suggest that it plans to.

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Wyden Calls for Copyright Reform at CES

January 9, 2013 DMCA , Enforcement , Fair Use

Today, Senator Ron Wyden spoke at CES, and remarked on the striking contrast in the landscape of technology policy between today and the time of last year’s CES. Back then, SOPA and PIPA seemed like inevitabilities to be, at best, mitigated through a trench warfare style of advocacy. Today, we see a willingness to move forward on important (and often neglected) issues and challenge old assumptions underlying these policy debates.

Wyden’s talk reflects this, indicating a broad agenda to encourage what he calls the “freedom to compete.” I’d call it ambitious, but if that’s so, it’s only in its breadth—each of the particular areas he addresses has concrete, feasible goals that improve things not just for tech companies, but primarily for consumers and users.

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The Copyright Reform Debate Continues Uncensored

December 6, 2012 DMCA , Fair Use , MPAA , SOPA , Statutory Damages

Last month the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) released (and then retracted 24 hours later) a thought-provoking policy paper entitled Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It. As the leading group for conservative policy ideas and discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives, the RSC could play a critical role in presenting the conservative arguments for copyright reform. 

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