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The Story of Cell Phone Unlocking Reform

July 29, 2014 1201 , Anti-circumvention , Cell Phone Unlocking , DMCA

This is the story of historic legislation getting passed through an extremely partisan and divided Congress.

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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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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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The 1201 Hearings- Protecting Business Models or Promoting Creative Progress?

June 11, 2012 Anti-circumvention , DMCA

Last week, a revolving door of digital media users took turns pleading with the Copyright Office for permission to use their content. Teachers and documentarians sought the right to create high-quality video clips for use in their classrooms and documentaries; the visually impaired argued for the right to enable read-aloud functionality on eBooks and enjoy movies with narrated visual descriptions; and Public Knowledge, advocating for the public at large, sought a right to copy lawfully owned DVDs for personal use (e.g. to play a DVD movie on an iPad, or similar device).

How did we arrive at this place, where copyright users must ask permission to use lawfully acquired content in non-infringing ways? The short version of the story goes like this:

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TPP Deep Dive: Copyright and Digital Locks

May 11, 2012 Anti-circumvention , DMCA , TPP

This post is the second in a series of blog posts examining Public Knowledge’s concerns with the proposed copyright provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yesterday we discussed copyright presumptions that favor copyright owners in litigation, and today we examine the parts of the TPP that use copyright law to prohibit users from circumventing digital locks over works.

For the time being, this series is examining the US’s copyright proposals for the TPP [pdf] from February 2011, which is the most recent text that is publicly available.

Digital Locks in US Law

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