Items tagged "Copyright Office"

Post

No, Really, You Should Be Able to Rip Your DVDs

March 2, 2012 Anti-circumvention , Copyright Office , DMCA , Fair Use

Today, we followed up our request urging the Copyright Office to allow consumers to break the digital locks on their DVDs so they can play them on their phones, tablets, and other digital devices. Along with the reply comments we filed today, we included the statements of nearly 400 users (warning: massive pdf) who stated for the record that they own lawfully made DVDs and would like to be able to space shift their movies exactly the way they can shift music from CDs to their iPods.

Read More
Post

Help Make it Legal to Rip Your DVDs

January 26, 2012 Anti-circumvention , Copyright Office , DMCA , DRM

Quick – what’s the legal difference between ripping a CD and ripping a DVD?  Ripping a DVD is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and could get you sued.  Unlike CDs, DVDs are protected by a digital lock.  The mere act of breaking that lock – even for a legitimate purpose – is a violation of the DMCA. 

Fortunately, the DMCA also has a built-in mechanism to deal with situations where it prevents people from doing legitimate things.  And that’s why we need your help to make sure that DVD ripping is granted an exemption from the DMCA.

Read More
Post

Modernizing the Copyright Office, One Database at a Time

November 30, 2011 Copyright Office , DMCA

Right now the Copyright Office is in the process of overhauling how it administers part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which has the potential to make the copyright notice-and-takedown process easier for service providers and copyright owners alike. The DMCA provides a safe harbor for online service providers that limits their liability for users’ infringement if they satisfy a number of conditions. One of those conditions is the agent designation requirement: the service provider must designate an agent to receive infringement notices from copyright holders so the service provider can take down the allegedly infringing content (subject to a counter-notice from the user). This week, Public Knowledge filed comments in the Copyright Office’s rulemaking to update its directory of service providers’ agents.

Read More

As the Net Neutrality debate brews, PK and others continue push for strengthening the proposal. Our three points of concern are ensuring protections for wireless access to the Internet, preventing paid prioritization, and simplifying the definition of “broadband Internet access service” (to avoid potential loopholes). Senator Al Franken sent a letter to the FCC Friday emphasizing the importance of “significantly strengthen[ing]” the proposal. Also, PK’s head of government relations responded to the mythical the meme that “300 Members of Congress are opposed to Net Neutrality”.

Read More
Post

An Adventure in Bureaucracy

June 30, 2010 Copyright Office , Regulation

One of my research assignments as an intern here at PK involves looking at the organization and function of the Copyright Office, which exists as a part of the Library of Congress. In this research, I wanted to consider the various rules and regulations governing the Office and the Library in general. It turns out that, in addition to the relevant Federal statutes, the Library’s rules and the Office’s rules published in the Federal Register, and the Copyright Office’s “Compendium” of internal practices, all of which are available to the public online, there’s another body of regulations that are harder to find. These Library of Congress Regulations (“LCR”) are legally binding on the Library, but take some digging to find.

Read More
Post

NEWSFLASH: Phantom Signal Royalty Charges Spook Cable Operators and Consumers

July 23, 2009 Copyright Office , SHVERA

A 2008 Copyright Office policy decision has resulted in cable operators getting charged copyright royalties for transmissions of broadcast content that do not actually take place — transmissions referred to as “phantom signals” since they eerily appear on copyright holders’ balance sheets, but not on a cable subscriber’s television screen.  Now, this really starts to sting when you realize that the cost to cable operators of these rather spooky royalties charges necessarily get passed on to cable subscribing consumers for content they never actually receive!

Read More
Post

PK In the Know Podcast for May 20th, 2009

May 20, 2009 Copyright Office , WIPO

PK Staff Attorney Rashmi Rangnath discusses the issues presented at the May 18th, 2009 public meeting held by the US Copyright Office and the US Patent and Trademark office on the topic of copyright exceptions for the blind or other persons with disabilities.

Grab it from our podcast or media feeds, download the episode here or listen to it in the player below.

Read More
Post

Camcording, DVD-Ripping and Normative Behavior: the MPAA’s Disingenuous Argument Against Fair Use

May 11, 2009 Analog Hole , Copyright Office , DMCA , DRM , Fair Use


If you were following the DMCA Section 1201 anticircumvention rulemaking proceedings last week, you likely saw Tim Vollmer’s video of the MPAA’s demonstration on how to create a film clip by pointing a camcorder at a TV set (embedded above). This demonstration was the MPAA’s response to an exemption request filed by educators, who are seeking to exercise their fair use rights by breaking the CSS encryption on DVDs in order to make short clips for classroom use. As you’ll recall, a group of media studies professors led by Peter DeCherney successfully filed for just such an exemption in 2006 (for more on that, see our video interview with DeCherney, embedded after the break). Three years later, the educators have returned, in an attempt to renew the exemption and to expand it to include students in media studies classes as well as educators outside of the media studies field. Despite having three years to regroup, the studios returned with the same tired, apocryphal argument: despite the fact that DVD-ripping is already widespread, if educators are allowed to legally rip, demand for DVDs will plummet and the industry will collapse. As an alternative, they suggest camcording, a cumbersome process that produces low-quality clips while requiring a significant investment in video recording equipment. Practical matters aside, the MPAA’s argument for camcording also happens to contradict a number of the organization’s other arguments against fair use–a fact that was not lost on many of the witnesses at last Wednesday’s hearing.

Read More
Post

DC DMCA Exemption Hearings at the Copyright Office: Follow along on Twitter

May 6, 2009 Copyright Office , DMCA

Every three years, the Copyright Office holds hearings to listen to commenters suggestions for exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s prohibition on circumvention of access controls. We’ve previously written about the handful of exemptions that the Office has granted (which expire and must be renewed every three years). This year, we’re on the ground and live-twittering what’s going on. Today, Mehan is manning the Public Knowledge twitter account picking out a number of choice quotes and responding to questions.

But we’re not alone at the hearing. A number of twitterers are there, and you can follow the related tweets using the #dmca1201 tag.

And now, thanks to Kristen for sharing her CoverItLive, we now have an embedded client so you can read the tweet-reports of what’s going on at the hearing live below:

Read More