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Will the White House Explain why Copyright Laws are Privileging Cell Phone Companies?

February 22, 2013 Anti-circumvention , Competition , Copyright Office , DRM , Handset Exclusivity

So 100,000 of you (and counting) are as puzzled as we are as to why copyright laws such as the DMCA should prevent people from keeping their existing phones when they switch phone companies. By hitting that threshold of signatures several days before the 30-day deadline, the petition should generate a response from the White House.

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PK In The Know Podcast: DVD ripping, Mobile, 3D printing DRM

October 26, 2012 3D Printing , DRM

On today’s show we discuss the Copyright Office’s decision about DVD ripping, shakeups in the mobile world, 3D Printing DRM, and owning the books you buy overseas.

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Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.
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United States Copyright Office: Ripping is Illegal

October 25, 2012 DMCA , DRM , Fair Use

Today the Register of Copyrights and the Librarian of Congress announced the 1201 exemptions.  You may remember that the 1201 review is the triannual process where organizations, communities, and individuals request permission to circumvent Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies that prevent them from doing otherwise perfectly legal things.  This time around, Public Knowledge requested an exemption that would allow people to rip DVDs they already own in order to transfer the movie to a device that cannot play DVDs (like a tablet).

That request was rejected.  Furthermore, the Register and the Librarian explained that they were unconvinced that space shifting was fair use at all.  That has huge implications well beyond people who want to watch the movies they own on DVD on their iPad.

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DRM on 3D Printers is a Big Deal. Nathan Myhrvold’s Patent is Not.

October 22, 2012 3D Printing , DRM

Recently, Antonio Regalado at Technology Review identified a patent on Digital Rights Management (DRM) for 3D printing.  The patent, granted to Nathan Myhrvold’s company Intellectual Ventures (IV), initiated a wave of discussion about DRM and 3D printing.  While this is a discussion that is worth having, the existence of the patent it not particularly relevant to it.

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Failing to understand the needs of the 21st century: The TPP’s flawed digital locks scheme

September 6, 2012 DRM , TPP

For comprehensive information about the TPP please visit tppinfo.org.

The 14th round of negotiations for the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) started today. The TPP is being touted as a “21st century” trade agreement, implying that the TPP’s provisions would reflect an understanding of the needs of 21st century citizens. With respect to copyright, this should mean that the agreement would reflect an understanding not only of the tools copyright owners need to protect their rights but also an understanding of the flexibilities that various users (like hobbyists, cultural institutions like libraries, archives and museums, and information and communication technology companies) would need to use digital material. Yet what we know of the TPP, at best, reflects little understanding of the needs of these communities.

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