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Brazil Forbids DRM On the Public Domain 258

Posted by kdawson
from the what-they-said dept.
nunojsilva writes "Cory Doctorow reports that the Brazilian equivalent of DMCA explicitly forbids using DRM-like techniques on works in the public domain. 'Brazil has just created the best-ever implementation of WCT [WIPO Copyright Treaty]. In Brazil's version of the law, you can break DRM without breaking the law, provided you're not also committing a copyright violation.' This means that, unlike the US, where it is illegal to break DRM, in Brazil it is illegal to break the public domain."
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Brazil Forbids DRM On the Public Domain

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  • by mjwx (966435) on Monday July 12, 2010 @12:58AM (#32871662)
    Copyright laws work for the good of the people
    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:11AM (#32871722)

      Copyright laws work for the good of the people

      What a funny turned upside down world. The first world nations are striving to work against the people, and the not so first world nations have this crazy idea to work for their people.

      *sips coffee*

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:37AM (#32871850)

        Brazil burns a lot of ethanol (world's first sustainable bio-fuel economy), so they can be energy self-sufficient as well. How the hell will the enlightened world ever be able to embargo them into submission?

        • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Sulphur (1548251) on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:16AM (#32872006)

          They make their ethanol from sugar which is more efficient than corn.

          Once an ethanol market is bootstrapped, one can switch to cellulose which uses no foodstuffs.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            We still import a lot of wheat from US.

            And as usual with Brazil, you have to learn the good stuff about yout own country from outside. They end up doing good stuff, doesnt want anybody to know about it (I guess the only exception is breaking some med copyrights).

            Since we're approaching the presidential elections, I would suspect this is a move to please someone with a little brains than people who enjoy carnavals. Or maybe it has something to do with the electronic voting machines...

          • From sugar cane, you mean. In fact we have problems when the sugar price goes up in the international markets and it pays more to produce sugar from cane than ethanol. Ethanol prices goes up and they end up higher than petrol.

            back on topic, I've seen nothing in the media here in Brazil regarding this. I'd like to know if this is a proposal or if has been approved already.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              oil will always have the ability to be price competitive with alternatives... the problem is that it's only harvested and not grown, so the supply is finite and can only be harvested from certain locations, which gives those land owners an unfair advantage in comparison to the rest of the world.

              Making the switch to Ethanol shouldn't be done for cost reasons, rather it should be done to gain independence from foreign oil "owners", and switch dependency to a resource that can be renewed as opposed to one t
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by guruevi (827432)

            Once any of the companies in power can turn a better profit using anything else, they will switch to it. Whether that be corn, beets or switchgrass - somebody will plant it and produce fuel out of it. Currently however, there is a bigger profit to be made due to the scarcity of oil-based fuels which keeps fuel prices at the point where most of the market can bear it. If the costs rise any higher (as they experimented with a couple of years ago) their customers will stop using which is not good for them. Eve

          • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:18PM (#32876092) Journal

            >>>They make their ethanol from sugar which is more efficient than corn.

            (packs suitcase)

            That's it. I'm moving to brazil. They have the right co copy the CD you buy to your iPod, they have renewable energy for cars (ethanol or biodiesel), and they have women that walk-around topless as often as the men do! This is definitely the country for me. One drawback - Their average internet speed is only 3.8 Mbit/s - about 6 megabits slower than the US or EU average. Oh well. (shrug). I think the topless ladies make up for it.

        • by wall0159 (881759)
          Maybe this is part of your point, but who's the "enlightened world" -- the US or Brazil?
        • by Joce640k (829181)

          They also have smokin' hot women.

          Just saying.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          You have an odd definition of "enlightened". OK, I realise you're being sarcastic, but I'll bet some won't relaise it.

      • yes, brazil is in the southern hemisphere (mostly)

        this is their map they share with the other antipodeans:

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Blank-map-world-south-up.png [wikimedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by im_thatoneguy (819432)

        It's not crazy or upside down at all.

        The United States Economy is built largely on IP law. We export research, science, art and knowledge to other countries which manufacture products based on that investment.

        Publishers and Manufacturers just put data on disks and pages. Without IP laws standing in their way they could make DVDs for $0.01 each. They still make just as much profit as before (actually more since they can sell a DVD now for $1 and pocket $0.99 instead of $0.001 profit on manufacturing the

        • by migla (1099771)

          >They're leading the way because they have no interest in protecting intellectual property.

          Also, perhaps, because they have a "commie" at the helm?

        • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Interesting)

          by captainpanic (1173915) on Monday July 12, 2010 @07:03AM (#32873012)

          It's not crazy or upside down at all.

          The United States Economy is built largely on IP law. We export research, science, art and knowledge to other countries which manufacture products based on that investment.

          Publishers and Manufacturers just put data on disks and pages. Without IP laws standing in their way they could make DVDs for $0.01 each. They still make just as much profit as before (actually more since they can sell a DVD now for $1 and pocket $0.99 instead of $0.001 profit on manufacturing they would charge before.

          They're leading the way because they have no interest in protecting intellectual property.

          You seem to suggest that Brazil does no research at all, has no universities, no industry that does any inventions, that it produces no movies, no music, and has no culture.

          You're right that it seems that Brazil has little interest to protect IP. But the reason is not because they don't produce any IP themselves. The reason is that they see the added value of sharing it.

          • by delinear (991444)
            While I think they're doing the right thing, I think GP is right about their motives. It's easy to see the value of sharing a resource until you reach the point that you're the primary producer of said resource, at which point the temptation is to slam the walls in place and maximise your position. Even as a producer of IP, Brazil doesn't come close to the US and would benefit far more from a relaxing of US-based IP than a tightening of Brazillian-IP, so it's to their advantage to apply a loose interpretati
        • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:30AM (#32873336)

          They can make DVD's for $0.01 each because that's how much they cost ... ...and they charge the same for a Movie that was made in 1950 where in the USA the stars, director, producer all get nothing, but the publisher still gets their cut of the pure profit, since the cost of making the movie was paid off years ago

          The reason they can charge more than it's worth, is because people thanks to the US movie industry thinks that's how much they are worth ...

      • by sznupi (719324) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:22AM (#32872276) Homepage

        What a funny turned upside down world. The first world nations are striving to work against the people, and the not so first world nations have this crazy idea to work for their people.

        Funny indeed, if you haven't put a second thought into actually contrasting "nation" with "people"...

        Who wants you to / how did you you allow yourself to forget that they are basically the same, or at the least the former is a reflection of the latter?

        • by Sique (173459) on Monday July 12, 2010 @05:14AM (#32872654) Homepage

          No. A nation is different from people. Take one of the emirates at the persian golf: Large parts of their population are not part of the nation, but they are still people living there.

          • by sznupi (719324)

            Of course they are part of the nation. That they might not have citizenship or that the presence of individuals might be, in principle, temporary doesn't change it; they aren't detached from the society they live in, they are an integral part of what it is.

        • by vegiVamp (518171) on Monday July 12, 2010 @07:45AM (#32873136) Homepage
          When and where the interests of corporations supercede those of the people, those two concepts are easily contrasted.
          • That's mostly an excuse, shouting "it's their fault!" Two camps, battling.

            I have a vivid local flavor of it, BTW (late EU member-state, was a place behind the Iron Curtain) - there's this myth that everything bad is the result of imposed reality, with "true %name_of_nationality" enduring due to unity, tradition and the Church; if they had their way, the place would be a shining beacon in almost every way.

            Reality isn't / wasn't quite like that; apparently it's easy to ignore how basically whole regime was lo

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Chrisq (894406)

        *sips coffee*

        I hope that's Brazilian and not Java

      • by b4upoo (166390)

        I can not help but wonder if a work is downloaded legally in Brazil and Americans receive copies from Brazil what effect that has on copyright protections within our borders.

        • I can not help but wonder if a work is downloaded legally in Brazil and Americans receive copies from Brazil what effect that has on copyright protections within our borders.

          The blade falls on the neck of the importer.
      • Not the first. (Score:5, Informative)

        by krischik (781389) <`krischik' `at' `users.sourceforge.net'> on Monday July 12, 2010 @05:35AM (#32872728) Homepage Journal

        Switzerland explicitly allows DRM breaking since 2007.

      • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:13AM (#32873240) Homepage Journal

        What a funny turned upside down world.

        There has been a quiet revolution going on in South America for at least the past decade. With countries moving to the Left and succeeding. We get to hear about Hugo Chavez and what a terrible man he is, but except for the North American corporate tools that still ply their trade down there, and right-wing thugs for hire, he's pretty much beloved. We don't hear about it because the corporate press in Venezuela (and Peru, and Bolivia, and Brazil) refuse to tell the story, but these South American countries have been succeeding not using an American-style, "free-market", corporations run everything system, but with a center-Left, enlightened form of Socialism that's a lot more like Northern European success stories like Sweden and Denmark. In Brazil, for example, there's this widespread belief that the rich natural resources (like the Public Domain) actually belong to the People instead of a banker or shareholder.

        In fact, "European-style" Socialism can learn a lot from some South American countries. It's still far from perfect, and as you say they're not quite "First World" yet, but they're coming on strong and unlike other places, it's happening for everyone, not just the rich.

        I spend a lot of time in Brazil and elsewhere in South America. I just got back from Campinas where I went to play my cavaquinho in a samba festival and hike a bit. I have friends down there at various socioeconomic levels and ethnic backgrounds, and they all tell me the same thing.

        Seriously, there's a story to be told about the South American successes that's going to take a lot of people by surprise.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          I agree in general with your comment but you made a big mistake using Hugo Chavez as an example. Chavez (along with his Cuban masters) is systematically destroying Venezuela democratic system and imposing a dictatorship. And no, he is no longer pretty much loved. Again, good comment but poor example.
    • But not in the USA, where is works for the good of the corporation. Like everything else.
      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:59AM (#32874084)

        Please understand a bit more before spouting this. A capitalist country with a consumer-based economy requires business protection. What's good for the company is often good for the people. Yes there are some areas in which businesses have benefitted at the expense of the individual, but there are many cases that go the opposite way. You just don't hear people complaining about them.

        To digress a bit, it's like when you learn a word for the first time, and suddenly hear it everywhere. You think it's coincidence, but it's really just that you are paying more attention to it. So someone gives you an anti-consumer example, and then you're looking for it everywhere. That's what individuals complain about, and if you talk to enough individuals, that will be all you hear. A company that pays low wages is controlling costs, and is often preventing those jobs from being lost completely as they are sent overseas. It is a balance in which the individual decides whether to work for a company, and the company tries to woo the employees while not giving so much that the cost of the good or service is overpriced.

        It is a difficult balance, and without business we have neither jobs nor products. So we must concede some points to them.

        Before someone starts on about corporate pay and lobbyists and all that, remember that the "invisible hand of the market" takes a long time to act, and it is currently swinging in the direction of shareholders having input on pay packages (so they can determine whether profits go to a single guy who makes few decisions on his own or to dividends). And more importantly, if you owned a business, wouldn't you want to have some discretion as to what to do with your money? Subject to the whims of the market of course. We need business and business needs us, and if you don't like a business stop buying and educate your friends and neighbors.

        I had a co-worker say that her daughter was caught in one of the mid-range RIAA lawsuits. I discussed some options found here, she decided to just settle. Hearing that decision, I asked her what her daughter was listening to these days (it was summer break). "All legal, paid for CDs, no downloading" she replied. By whom, I inquired, and some of the most radio-popular names spilled out. I told her, you know you're just giving more money to RIAA member companies, the same ones that just got thousands of dollars from you without going through the court system. She then told her daughter that her entertainment budget would be severely curtailed next school year and would have to make decisions about buying music in an informed manner. She was enabling anti-consumer tactics against herself, and had no idea. Ignorance, my point is, is more anti-consumer than any law or ruling or regulation could ever be, and we do it to ourselves.

    • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Informative)

      by cappp (1822388) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:13AM (#32871734)
      Nope. This is a proposal, not an actual change to the laws. The article on ArsTechnica [arstechnica.com] makes that very explicit.

      For those interested in reading the entire thing - it's available here [google.com].
      • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Informative)

        by cappp (1822388) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:22AM (#32871772)
        The proposed "Fair Use" rules in Brazil read:

        Article 46. Not an insult to the use of copyright protected works, dispensing with even the express prior authorization of the owner and the need for compensation by those who use them in the following cases:
        I - reproduction by any means or process of any work legitimately acquired, if made in one copy and by the copyist, for his private use and not commercial;

        II - reproduction by any means or process of any work legitimately acquired, where to ensure its portability or interoperability, for private, noncommercial

        III - playing in the press, news or informative articles, published in newspapers or magazines with the name of the author, if signed, and the publication of which were transcribed;

        IV - to use the press, in speeches at public meetings of any kind or of any work, and when it is justified to the extent necessary to fulfill the duty to report on news events;

        V - the use of literary, artistic or scientific works, phonograms and broadcasting of radio and television shops, exclusively for customer demonstration, provided that the said establishments market the media or facilities to enable its use;

        VI - a theatrical performance, recitation or declamation, the audiovisual display and musical performance, provided they have no intention of profit and that the public can attend free of charge, held in the family circle or in schools, when intended for use by bodies teachers and students, parents and other persons belonging to the school community;

        VII - the use of literary, artistic or scientific evidence to produce judicial or administrative;

        VIII - the use in any work of short extracts from existing works, of whatever nature, or entire work, when the visual arts, where the use itself is not the main goal of the new work that does not jeopardize the operation normal work reproduced or unjustifiably prejudice the legitimate interests of authors;

        IX - the reproduction, distribution, communication and the provision of public works for the exclusive use of disabled persons where the disability involves, for the enjoyment of the work by those people need to use at any particular process or still some adaptation of the protected work, and provided that no commercial purpose in the reproduction or adaptation;

        X - reproduction and making available to the public for inclusion in portfolio or professional resume, to the extent required for this purpose, since he who wishes to disseminate the works by such means is one of the authors or person depicted;

        XI - the use of pictures, or other form of representation of the image, custom, when performed by the object owner ordered, with no opposition from the person represented or, if dead or absent, his spouse, his ascendants or descendants;

        XII - playback of lectures, conferences and classes for those to whom they are addressed, prohibited the publication, regardless of the purpose of profit, without prior written permission of whom ministered;

        XIII - reproduction necessary for conservation, preservation and storage of any work, non-commercial purposes, if carried out by libraries, archives, documentation centers, museums, film and other museum institutions, to the extent required to meet its goals;

        XIV - the quotation in books, newspapers, magazines or other means of communication of passages from a work for study, criticism or controversy, to the extent required for the specific purpose, stating the name of the author and origin the work;

        XV - a theatrical performance, recitation or declamation, the audiovisual display and musical performance, provided they have no intention of profit, which the public can attend free of charge and they occur to the extent required for order to achieve and the following assumptions :
        a) for educational purposes only;
        b) with the purpose of cultural diffusion and multiplication of public opinion formation or discussion by film soci

        • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Informative)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:53AM (#32872174) Journal

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries'_copyright_length [wikipedia.org]
          Brazil: Life + 70 years

          It's a joke to talk about "a fine and balanced approach to copyright law" while ignoring life + 70 years of copyright protection.
          They'll be doddering seniors before anything created in their lifetime is public domain.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ultranova (717540)

            It's a joke to talk about "a fine and balanced approach to copyright law" while ignoring life + 70 years of copyright protection.

            It's a rather dark humor to realize that this is, indeed, what passes as "fine and balanced" in modern copyright law.

            They'll be doddering seniors before anything created in their lifetime is public domain.

            But most stars you see nowadays still burn. That's an improvement, right?

  • by Mathinker (909784) * on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:13AM (#32871732) Journal

    This is a masterful inversion of the motivation behind the treaty which more or less makes it impossible to implement any kind of reasonable (in the eyes of the likes of **AAs) DRM --- because the DRM has to enable at least limited copying since fair use/dealing is one of the exceptions the DRM has to enable. If everyone can copy X seconds out of of a work (X > 0), then if enough people join forces, they can copy a work of any finite length.

    • by Kitsune Inari (1801214) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:57AM (#32872390)

      makes it impossible to implement any kind of reasonable DRM

      any kind of reasonable DRM

      reasonable DRM

      Oxymoron detected.

    • I think you're confusing the technical ability to break encryption with its legality. It seems that the new proposed legislation would allow you to legally break the DRM encryption to use something under fair use. It doesn't say that whoever put DRM must tell you how to break it or give you keys.

      Besides, I don't see the point of your scheme. According to Article 46, paragraph II of the proposed law, fair use allows you to make a whole copy of a protected work to "ensure its portability or interoperability",

      • by silentcoder (1241496) on Monday July 12, 2010 @05:18AM (#32872666) Homepage

        >I think you're confusing the technical ability to break encryption with its legality. It seems that the new proposed legislation would allow you to legally break the DRM encryption to use something under fair use. It doesn't say that whoever put DRM must tell you how to break it or give you keys.

        Actually, it DOES. It states that the DRM MUST allow you to exercise (any and all off) your fair-use rights. It makes it a criminal offense punishable with a fine to prevent them. This means that if a user demands the keys in order to make a backup copy of a piece of media, they would be committing a crime if they refused to provide them, unless of course, the DRM in question is built in such a way that it makes these fair use rights actively doable already (like e.g. steam's allowed-backup system).

  • That is nice to hear (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RandomAdam (1837998) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:15AM (#32871740)
    Nice to hear that at least some places in the world wont criminalise people so x-megacorp can "protect" their investment even after it should have passed into public domain
  • Fascinating (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mysidia (191772) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:21AM (#32871768)
    <p>
    How long will it be before US sanctions and pressure from other governments still controlled by the **AA pirates  forces them to fall in line and adopt more conventional DMCA rules?
    </p>
    • by morcego (260031)

      That would be a bit hard to do without changing the constitution. Not impossible, but definitively not simple or easy.

      The Brazilian constitution is some a short document, like the USA's. Think of how hard it would be for a corporation to actually change the constitution, and you get the picture.

    • Re:Fascinating (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cyclomedia (882859) on Monday July 12, 2010 @04:25AM (#32872496) Homepage Journal

      Actually, Brazil has been plenty socking it to the (Gov't of the) USA lately, as part of one of the BRIC bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China) of large economy's that don't give a crap what the USA has to say about a lot of issues. Take for example Brazil hosting negotiations and setting up a deal between Turkey and Iran regarding uranium enrichment. USA was not pleased and made a lot of waa waa noises at the UN but as far as those three are concerned the USA can stuff off and get off their lawn, thank you.

      The USA is still the most powerful nation on earth, but they're at a tipping point and it's not just the BRIC countries that are coming to realize that they can do whatever the hell they like and the USA can just shut up

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:27AM (#32871812)

    Take that, USA.

  • not unusual (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:31AM (#32871824) Homepage Journal

    Really not surprising. When the US was a small, backwater english colony, it was also famous for its piracy (of books, in that time).

    It is the countries with the massive content industries that have the strict copyright regimes. Brasil isn't home to Hollywood or very many international music superstars.

    • by morcego (260031)

      If you mean that Brazil don't have Hollywood paying off politicians, you are right on spot there.

      Music labels, on the other hand, are pretty strong (ie: giving politicians money) here, tho.

    • Re:not unusual (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NoMaster (142776) on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:15AM (#32871994) Homepage Journal

      And when it was a slightly larger, less backwater independent nation, it was famous for its piracy of other art forms [wikipedia.org]...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Really not surprising. When the US was a small, backwater english colony, it was also famous for its piracy (of books, in that time).

      It is the countries with the massive content industries that have the strict copyright regimes. Brasil isn't home to Hollywood or very many international music superstars.

      Actually, it was infamous for its piracy into the 1940's for music and well into the 1980's for technology. It is still infamous for pirating/"adapting" movie plots (this is possible to do in large scale since Americans never look at forreign movies and never read forreign books). E.g. during the Korean and Vietnam war, US companies pirated many Swedish weapon, positioning and communication systems (according to Swedish law at the time, it was illegal to export those systems to US as it was an aggressor in

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ignavus (213578)

      Really not surprising. When the US was a small, backwater english colony, it was also famous for its piracy (of books, in that time).

      It is the countries with the massive content industries that have the strict copyright regimes. Brasil isn't home to Hollywood or very many international music superstars.

      Yep. Copyright (and patents) is imperialism carried out by means other than tanks. The tanks are just there in case some punk country STILL doesn't pay its tribute (aka copyright and patent licence fees).

      Every little country realises that "intellectual property" is intellectual imperialism (a.k.a "we thought of it first!"). Every big country has forgotten that lesson from its past, and just goes around trying to figure out new ways to make the rest of the world pay it more tribute.

  • What if you want to make open source software that uses DRM as an integral part of its function? Like maybe, personal encryption?
    • by Lord Kano (13027)

      What if you want to make open source software that uses DRM as an integral part of its function? Like maybe, personal encryption?

      You, sir, clearly do not understand what DRM is.

    • by kvezach (1199717) on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:32AM (#32872088)
      Like maybe, personal encryption?

      Then it's no longer DRM, which is basically a program that has both lock and key yet tries to hide the key from the user except in "allowed" circumstances. Personal encryption doesn't include both the lock and the key; instead, you have the key and you use it to prove to the lock program that you have (unlimited) access to the encrypted volume/whatever.

      Besides, it stands to reason that what you're encrypting is meant to be private, thus, since it's not released, it doesn't fall within the domain of copyright. You're not distributing anything, so limits to distribution don't apply.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by hellop2 (1271166)
        My point is a question of whether or not blocking DRM on all public domain works is in everyone's best interest.

        I know what DRM is. Now if you want to talk semantics, imagine you own a work that you want to put on your website, so you encrypt it so that only your friends and family can view it, with your special viewer. This is personal encryption, and it is DRM. Now, my niece goes to jail for uploaded Shakespeare.

        Not distributed enough for you? Imagine a Linux based computer like OLPC targeted f
        • by tepples (727027)

          Not distributed enough for you? Imagine a Linux based computer like OLPC targeted for kids. Your company distributes Open Source/Public Domain works under DRM to ensure that your users only run software that's up-to-date, reviewed, and covered under your support contract.

          Under OLPC Bitfrost [laptop.org], the user can assign privileges to an app, either through the installer package or later. Some privileges may only be assigned later; for example, an installer cannot simultaneously request network access and the ability to scan the user's home directory. But the user always has the ability to assign these privileges, apart from a couple privileges related to the recovery image that require a developer key. These keys appear to be available upon the child's request with a two-week turnar

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Pentium100 (1240090)

          I know what DRM is. Now if you want to talk semantics, imagine you own a work that you want to put on your website, so you encrypt it so that only your friends and family can view it, with your special viewer.

          This is not DRM. If you want to make the information accessible to selected group of people, you can just share the encryption key with them. DRM starts when you want to simultaneously allow your friends to access the content, but also not allow them to copy it and upload to some other site. And this cannot be done. The friend in question can always point a camera at the screen and then upload the recorded video. Hollywood tries to come up with an unbreakable DRM, see how successful they are...

          Also, if this

  • All cracking legal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:23AM (#32872034)

    If it is legal to crack/circumvent DRM when you are "not committing a copyright violation", it seems that it is also OK to crack DRM on other works, as long as you do not redistribute it. A few comments up someone posted the actual Brazilian fair use rules, and those seem pretty fair, and explicitly allow a.o. for creating a copy for personal use.

    This would make it legal to say strip DRM from your legally bought iTunes songs, in order to make your personal copy.

    It would be legal to rip BluRay discs and removing the DRM in the process, again to make your own personal copy.

    Redistributing said material with or without DRM in place would be a copyright violation, and rightful so.

    It would presumably be legal to create tools to do this - it seems reasonably to expect that to distribute such tools would even be legal.

    Now the real fun can start: Brazilian programmer produces tool that removes DRM from material with US-owned copyrights. Fully legal in his native country. Would this person be liable to prosecution in the US? And indirectly by producing such a tool banning himself from visiting the US for the rest of his life?

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:18AM (#32872270) Journal

      Now the real fun can start: Brazilian programmer produces tool that removes DRM from material with US-owned copyrights. Fully legal in his native country. Would this person be liable to prosecution in the US? And indirectly by producing such a tool banning himself from visiting the US for the rest of his life?

      Ever heard of Dmitry Sklyarov [wikipedia.org]?

      • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:40AM (#32872348)

        Yes I have (I recall the gist of it at least), and that was what I was thinking of indeed.

        Most countries have the power of the courts strictly limited to crimes committed within their own country. Other countries limit their jurisdiction to crimes committed within their borders, and crimes committed outside those borders by their own citizens.

        It seems though that the US has no such limitations: certain acts committed by foreigners in a foreign country where such act is fully legal, but which is illegal in the US, may be prosecuted under US law when that foreigner is in the US. And I recall even reports of US agents abducting foreign citizens in a foreign country, taking them to the US, and prosecuting them there.

        Scary.

        • by Tim C (15259)

          I suspect that in cases like this, the logic is that although the tool was produced overseas, it was made available in the US itself, and thus there may have been a case to answer.

          I'm not saying I agree with it, but if you piss a nation off too much don't be surprised if they're not too welcoming should you ever try to enter the country. (Much like with people - piss me off, don't expect me to welcome you into my house)

        • Most countries have the power of the courts strictly limited to crimes committed within their own country. Other countries limit their jurisdiction to crimes committed within their borders, and crimes committed outside those borders by their own citizens.

          Actually quite a few, if not indeed most countries have provisions in their laws to prosecute for crimes committed outside their territory, in particular crimes committed not only by but also against their citizens (although typically with caveat that the it must be criminal also in the country where it occurred), some crimes are often prosecutable no matter what (genocide, airplane hijackings, child abuse being common). And often there's a proviso that prosecution is possible in any case if decided high e

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wolrahnaes (632574)

          Hell, ask Marc Emery [wikipedia.org]. Sold pot seeds in Canada where it is legal to do so (even to the point that the Canadian government directed medical marijuana patients to him). Some went across the border, the DEA didn't like that, and they pressured the Canadians in to arresting and extraditing one of their own citizens for doing something that wasn't a crime there.

          Really shows how fucked our "justice" system can be (and how weak-willed the Canadian authorities apparently are).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Well, the whole reason DRM exists is because the legal system doesn't scale to the number of law violators that exist. If copyright violation could be prosecuted quickly and efficiently enough to target everyone who did it, you wouldn't need DRM. You could just rely on the law as is. However there are too many violators and the law is too slow and heavy to do that, so you get DRM, and then it kind of makes sense to make breaking DRM illegal because not many people do that, so the law scales to it.

      Of course,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by camperdave (969942)
        Well, the whole reason DRM exists is because the legal system doesn't scale to the number of law violators that exist. If copyright violation could be prosecuted quickly and efficiently enough to target everyone who did it, you wouldn't need DRM. You could just rely on the law as is. However there are too many violators and the law is too slow and heavy to do that, so you get DRM, and then it kind of makes sense to make breaking DRM illegal because not many people do that, so the law scales to it.

        Interes
  • There is something you all need to know about Brasil (do you prefer New York or Nova Iorque?), and I can tell, I'm not any proud of it.

    The congress can aprove whatever law they want in Brasil, even DMCA-like, which I think it's very unlikely. Once aproved there are no grantees that the law will be respected.

    Many laws in Brasil exists only on paper, and has't any kind of regulation nor enforcement. People simply ignore them, and even police, or official fiscalization, does nothing about it, the law is completely ignored by all sectors of society.

    For example. Rip a CD or a DVD is not legal in Brasil. But everybody does it, and nothing is done about it. I have discovered about this a couple of month ago.

    Another example. It's not legal to sell pirated CDs or DVDs. But in any city, even the smaller ones, it's possible to buy illegal copied CDs and DVDs for as much as US$ 2,50 each movie, US$ 1,50 each CD. It's very easy to buy a XBox 360 game for US$ 10. And as easy as find someone selling this CDs and DVDs on streets is to find a policeman buying from them.

    This kind of attitude is not only found in copyrighted material. It's easy for a minor to buy alcoholic beverages or cigars.

    So, the congress can even aprove a DRM-like legislation, but it will certainly not leave the paper. USA hungry for copyright protection will be pleased, but the society will ignore the law and thigs will remain the same as they are today.

    Try to discuss something more practical about Brasil.

    • by delinear (991444)
      The key here is not that people routinely break laws, it's that here is a proposal that means in these very specific cases, and contrary to how other nations are interpreting it, you don't have to break the law. Imagine a country with sometimes ridiculously restrictive speed limits (I admit it, I'm from the UK) where the majority of drivers routinely break the speed limit. Now imagine one road is designated as being free of any limit (let's ignore the safety implications of this for the sake of simplicity).
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:04AM (#32873198) Homepage
    ,,,if doing so does not infringe copyright. From Title 17 [cornell.edu]:

    No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

    Thus the activity must be such that some other provision of Title 17 would be violated and the copyright owner must object. Material in the public domain is thus not covered. The DMCA "circumvention" provision is execrable, but Slashdot regularly grossly exaggerates its breadth.

  • I just found the original project, as we call it. It is up for public scrutiny. It can still be changed when the voting happens. For brazilians, or people from abroad who'd like to take a look at it, here is the original address: http://www.cultura.gov.br/consultadireitoautoral/lei-961098-consolidada/ [cultura.gov.br] . The sad fact is that most people simply don't know or care about this proposed law here, and so it might be changed given enough pressure from media lobbyists. Hope it doesn't.
    • I'd like to draw attention to two provisions of the proposed law that are much more important, IMHO: Art. 46, I, explicity allows one copy by any means for private, non-commercial use. Art 46, II, explicity allows format-shifting for private and non-commercial use.
      • by Shados (741919)

        Basically they're codifying fair use so its not up for debate anymore, as opposed to arguing that any copy isn't fair use, or that you can have 1743091749719417 copies and resell them as fair use, as some here like to argue (obviously im exaggerating).

        Putting it on paper once and for all is a pretty good idea.

  • Wrong about US' DMCA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Monday July 12, 2010 @11:11AM (#32874782) Homepage Journal

    Doctorow says

    in the US, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits all circumvention of software locks, even when they don't protect copyright

    but DMCA [cornell.edu], in 1201(a)(1)(A), the part that prohibits playing DRMed works, says:

    No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

    "This title" is Title 17; the title that creates copyright protection. If there's a public domain work that has DRM, you are allowed to defeat the DRM. You don't need to use any of the exemption clauses that come later, use any of the rules created by the librarian of congress, etc. DMCA never applies to you in the first case.

    1201(b)(1), the part that prohibits creating and transacting in tools that play DRMed works, says:

    (1) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that—

    (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof;

    (B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof; or

    (C) is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person’s knowledge for use in circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof.

    Same as above. If there are public domain DRMed works out there, you are allowed to create software that plays them and sell a billion copies of it openly. (There might be some fighting over (B) there, but .. well, we can talk about that in another thread.)

    DMCA very explicitly only applies to copyrighted works and the rights of the holders of those works. And AFAIK there hasn't been any case law that contradicts the plain reading of these parts. If you know of any, give references.

    Furthermore, Doctorow says

    for example, it would be illegal to for me to break the DRM on a Kindle to access my own novels, were they sold with Kindle DRM

    but DMCA 12(A)(3) says

    As used in this subsection—
    (A) to “circumvent a technological measure” means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner

    If you are the copyright holder, just grant authorization. You (not Amazon!!!!) are the authority that the law is speaking about. You can grant it to yourself, or anyone else and under any conditions. This part of the law is utterly critical to the industries that bought this law and they can never safely repeal it without screwing themselves. If copyright holders couldn't grant permission, then there would be zero legal DVD or Blu-Ray players. Every single unit, even ones licensed by DVDCCA or whatever the Blu-Ray equivalent is, would be violations. It's implicit and hidden, but there's some legal mechanism where the movie makers grant authorization to the public to use these devices, and grant authorization to the electronics manufacturers to make them.

    RTFL, Doctorow. Oh, and if you want to fuck around with DMCA, then start thinking about what document(s) you may have signed which authorize Kindle users to read you

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by russotto (537200)

      I wish I had mod points, because you're right and it's a fact that has not been sufficiently exploited. Suppose I want to break DRM technique X. At least in theory, all I have to do is arrange for a public domain work to be protected by technique X, without that particular instance of X covering any copyrighted works. Now I can write and publish a tool for breaking technique X, and even demonstrate it on the public domain work, without (theoretically) falling afoul of the DMCA.

      I doubt the courts would ac

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