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Internet Archive Gets DMCA Exemption 84

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hizt0ry-cr4ckz-and-pa55w0rds dept.
Paul Hickman writes "The Internet Archive has successfully lobbied for a DMCA exemption for the Software Archive. The IA keeps out-of-date programs, games and other random craziness for future programmers to savor. At the rapid pace of software development, this makes sure that we can create a history for us to remember and wonder at the programming of early games."
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Internet Archive Gets DMCA Exemption

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  • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:04PM (#17039672) Journal
    a personal DMCA exemption for every US Citizen.... sigh
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bwthomas (796211)
      how can a first post be modded as redundant?

      hmm... how indeed.
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:41PM (#17040256) Homepage Journal
        There are several reasons, such as the same comment being copied to a new discussion, repetition of information in the article summary, unnecessary mirroring of content in the slashdot story (which is also illegal, not that I care much) and for people saying the same stupid boring shit that people have been saying for the last n years, like "but does it run linux". With that said, this does not appear to be one of those moments...
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Idiots wielding mod points is the problem.
        • I should use my mod points on you. But am choosing to participate in the discussion instead.
          • Come now, Slashdot doesn't give the karma-poor mod points. :)

            It is funny that an AC got modded +2 for being too scared to call out the "idiot mods" to post with his name.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kaboom13 (235759)
      Don't worry, we just need to cleverly get the right to grant exemptions shifted to the patent office. Then everyone and their mother can have as many exemptions as they want. I call dibs on the exemption for the purpose of showing stuff on things.
  • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:11PM (#17039770) Homepage Journal
    Does this mean that they can ignore DMCA takedown orders on all content? Or just that they're immune to prosecution if they reverse-engineer and break a copy-protection system of a work that's already in the public domain and out of copyright?

    If it's the latter, while it's a nice move, there isn't really any software (except stuff on Hollerith cards) that's anywhere near getting into the public domain anyway. So it would seem to be a moot point. If they have permission to archive all content though, even stuff that's still in copyright, that would be decent.

    I've read elsewhere though that the exemptions from the Copyright Office aren't permanent, but need to be renewed every few years or they expire. So all that has to happen to destroy everything is for an administration to pressure the Copyright Office to let the exemption slip, and then threaten to prosecute the IA if they don't destroy the de-protected works. Someone in another thread likened it to being given a Band-Aid after you've gotten the crap beaten out of you with a lead pipe; a nice gesture, but ultimately it would have been nicer to not get beaten in the first place.
    • by russ1337 (938915) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:19PM (#17039896)
      Can I store my MP3 collection there? I wouldn't want to to get lost.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by KiloByte (825081)
        Yeah, I thought about that as well. Now I'm waiting the 6 months before it will appear there.

        Free backup and bandwidth, yay :p
    • by Elektroschock (659467) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:43PM (#17040294)
      In the European Union we currently watch the next stage of madness. They prepared legislation which would turn all intentional infringements of an IP right into a criminal offense. [ffii.org] No fair use exemptions yet.

      Article 3 Offences
      Member States shall ensure that all intentional infringements of an intellectual property right on a commercial scale, and attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting such infringements, are treated as criminal offences.
      Let's see whether parliament will fix it. I hope that at least the following amendment will be accepted:

      Article 3, paragraph 2 (new)

      Amendment
      Member States shall ensure that the fair and
      reasonable use of a protected work including
      such use by reproduction in copies or audio
      or by any other means, for purposes such as
      criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching
      (including multiple copies for classroom use),
      scholarship, archiving, format conversion or
      research will not be treated as a criminal
      offence.

      Justification:

      Paragraph 1 of Article 3 describes what shall be treated as a criminal offence. New paragraph 2
      affirms desirable fair uses which shall never get punished by criminal sanctions, and are vital for
      a free and open society. Amendment derived from to 17 U. S.C. 107
      Please write to Member of the Legal Affairs Committee [europa.eu] and ask them to support or table the amendment. Lobbying at the right time can prevent a lot of problems which occur when the law will be executed. Then you or your business will get into danger. Please ask MEPs to support the fair use provision!
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The key phrase there is "on a commercial scale". There is no fair use on a commercial scale, its just using someone else's work to gain profit, and should be criminal. Fair use is certainly not the same thing as abolishing copyrights.
        • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:19PM (#17040922)
          There is no fair use on a commercial scale, its just using someone else's work to gain profit

          Scale != gain. You could make no money, not even at your own loss (not recouping your own costs), and still infringe on a commercial scale.

          Also, criminal penalty for incitement to pirate? So if I were to tell people to massively violate Disney's copyright on Steamboat Willie (or other works that would have gone to the public domain if not for extensions), and people do it on a scale of a commercial act, even if not for commercial gain, that would be criminal incitement to infringe copyright.

          Expect any sharing that isn't limited in volume of copies to be considered commercial-scale infringement. Especially as they don't care how many copies you make but rather how many copies you potentially could have made to googol the penalties (remember talk of small operations' equipment being "equivalent to N 1x CD burners"?).
        • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:28PM (#17041034) Journal
          Sure there is. Sampling for instance. There's a big difference between a short sample creatively integrated into a new song(fair) and selling bootlegs in chinatown(unfair).
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by colinbrash (938368)
            A "short sample creatively integrated into a new song" is most definitely not covered by fair use. Artists/producers need to get permission to use (copyrighted) samples.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by PitaBred (632671)
            This one is up for argument (even though I agree that it should be fair.) What is more relevant: How about someone who quotes some words in a song in a review, or a snipped of it? They're profiting from it by selling their article, but it's still well under the umbrella of fair use. Commercial entities are still entitled to fair use.
    • by PurpleMonkeyKing (944900) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:18PM (#17040888)

      They made the exception for obsolete computer programs/games among others. Their definition of obsolete is:

      A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

      Takedown orders will still hold, if the content is still manufactured. Well, at least they don't have to wait until it reaches public domain!

      The first few pages of the official document [copyright.gov] (pdf warning) give more details.

    • Depends on if they're their own ISP or not. DMCA takedown notices are directed at ISPs, and as you well know, most ISPs go running and crapping their pants at the first whisper of a takedown order. This DMCA exemption would shield the archive from any actual liability for circumventing access controls, but that might not prevent a twitchy ISP from shutting down the content. Making a takedown request in bad faith (i.e. when you know damn well there's no infringment) is actionable, but those sorts of cases
    • I've read elsewhere though that the exemptions from the Copyright Office aren't permanent, but need to be renewed every few years or they expire. So all that has to happen to destroy everything is for an administration to pressure the Copyright Office to let the exemption slip, and then threaten to prosecute the IA if they don't destroy the de-protected works.
      Why assume that the government isn't acting in good faith? If they wanted the IA to be shut down, they wouldn't have granted the exemption in the f
      • Why assume that the government isn't acting in good faith? If they wanted the IA to be shut down, they wouldn't have granted the exemption in the first place.

        Why assume that the government isn't acting in good faith ... well, maybe for one, because I've seen time and time again how the government can be bought practically on the open market for sufficient sums of money.

        Just because they might be trying to act in good faith today doesn't mean that they won't change their tune tomorrow, when Disney/Sony/Viven
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:11PM (#17039778)
    I am a special archivist librarian, um, responsible for the collection of laser-readable media in my home^H^H^H^H *library* and I need a special exemption also so that my friends^H^H^H^H^H^H^H fellow librarians are able to enjoy^H^H^^H^H^H access the material contained therein.

    Sincerely
    Pirate^H^H^H^H^H^H Bob
  • Not just IA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:12PM (#17039796) Homepage Journal
    What's important to note here is that the exemption isn't limited just to the Internet Archive. IANAL but unless I'm reading something hideously wrongly, this seems to generally exempt software from the protection granted by the DMCA if the hardware to run it isn't reasonably available. Have they just legitimized the abandonware scene?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No. The exemption applies only to nonproft library or archival use. You don't get to just freely distribute copies over the internet, particularly not from a website with a bunch of ads running on it.
  • by Mish (50810) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:16PM (#17039858)
    That future generations will have a source (other than oldversion.com [oldversion.com]) for previous versions of software for use with version specific cracks.

    Whoops! Was that out loud?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    All of our Anna Nicole Smith screensavers are free! Future generations can now, openly and freely enjoy the fruits of our culture and learn from our ways. Rejoice brothers!
  • But this ain't over...not by a long shot!
    • [reference status="obligatory" source="movie"]You hear me talkin', internet archive? I ain't through with you by a damn sight.[/reference]
  • It's nice to know the lawyers spent a whole 50 minutes on this case....
  • All 6 exemptions (Score:5, Informative)

    by WaXHeLL (452463) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:05PM (#17040696)
    1. Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university's film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors. 2. Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace. 3. Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights November 17, 2006 Page 2 damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace. 4. Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book's read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format. 5. Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network. 6. Sound recordings, and audiovisual works associated with those sound recordings, distributed in compact disc format and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully purchased works and create or exploit security flaws or vulnerabilities that compromise the security of personal computers, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing, investigating, or correcting such security flaws or vulnerabilities.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by freeweed (309734)
      6. Sound recordings, and audiovisual works associated with those sound recordings, distributed in compact disc format and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully purchased works and create or exploit security flaws or vulnerabilities that compromise the security of personal computers, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing, investigating, or correcting such security flaws or vulnerabilities.

      Would have been much shorter if they j
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:28PM (#17041042)
    I really am, on copyrights and the "me, me, me" mindset. I say let those folks crap be lost to the ages, gone. People who want the "don't you dare touch my stuff!" form of rights-go right ahead! I hope it gets lost in time, never to be seen again. Data of any kind that is open format, licensed to use, will survive. All those "artists" and closed off DRM content? fine! let it go away! Softare, games? Who cares really? Let it go, ignore it, ridicule it, make fun of it! I say go about using and creating open content, that is the only content that is guaranteed to at least have a chance to survive. the rest-as soon as company x goes out of business or some new format comes out and people lose interest..buh bye!

    In the past, cultures that didn't care, didn't leave readable records-we don't know-or *care*- much about them. They are gone, as they should be. Whereas cultures that wrote things down in an intelligent way, using the best tech of the time, had their culture and language and works survive and they are still important today. Evolution not only goes to survival of the fittest, but survival of the most robust and open, because their knowledge base expanded rapidly, which lead to them being important, which lead them to being viable down through time.

    Let the jerks go to all the trouble to create something, then make it a bear to stay viable or readable, their loss! Let them lock it up, charge huge fees for every peek at it or use, let them stay walled off, keep it buried in their vaults, throw away the key, bury it, obfuscate it, make it just so hard to use that..no one in the future will care! Let their own hubris be their legacy, their paranoid delusions of grandeur that their stuff is so valuable that humans will make the effort to try and decipher their weirdly coded and encumbered "works", when reality will be that the stuff that is easy to get to and easy to read and use and enjoy will stick around much better.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by axlash (960838)
      But that's the point. People who use DRM care less about how important their work will be in the future, and more about how much money they can make today. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this - we all make decisions which are skewed towards our short and long term interests.
  • Yeah, but ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AlHunt (982887)
    "$50,000 in pro bono lawyer time". WTF is wrong with government when it takes this kind of leverage to get anything done? How would the average person ever hope to get any consideration at all?

    And let's not forget - this "exemption" is courtesy of the very same people who created the need for an exemption - congress.

    Stop voting for incumbent politicians and DMCA-type garbage will stop happening in the first place.
    • Don't worry, they charged $500 and hour, and most of the time spent was triple billed anyway, so its not like anyone lost any money. ;-)
  • So let's say I want to submit my game [metasquared.com], which is already listed on Tucows [tucows.com], to this site.

    How would it get indexed? I could not find a link to contribute software. After Home of the Underdogs [the-underdogs.info] grabbed it without so much as notifying me (but whatever; I'm flattered more than anything else), I would think this would be simple.

    • by TTK Ciar (698795) *

      Use this: http://www.archive.org/create.php [archive.org]

      Enter a descriptive identification string following the simple syntax rules given, and it will present you with an ftp server to which to upload your game's files. After you have completed uploading your files, click on the "done" link and then fill out the web form for your item's metadata.

      I realize our item creation interface sucks, but finding the spare cycles for rewriting it is problematic. We're a nonprofit with a tiny staff, dealing with huge content

      • Thanks for the response. I reached that page before, but the mention of an "audio, movie, or text file" made me think I had arrived at the wrong place. If that page is also used for uploading software, you should make mention of that.
  • I wonder if DeCSS can be included in the IA's Software archive, now? :)

  • Hmm... why not sweeden and forget about DMCA altogether ?
    Europe would be pleased I guess. And we need good lobbyist
    against software patents :-)

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]

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