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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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