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DMCA Exemptions Desired To Hack iPhones, Remix DVDs 188

An anonymous reader writes "For copyright activists, Christmas comes but once every three years: a chance to ask Santa for a new exemption to the much-hated Digital Millennium Copyright Act's prohibitions against hacking, reverse engineering and evasion of Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes protecting all kinds of digital works and electronic items. Judging from the list of 20 exemptions requested this year [19 shown], some in the cyber-law community are thinking big. The requests include the right to legally jailbreak iPhones in order to use third party software, university professors wishing to rip clips from DVDs for classroom use, YouTube users wishing to rip DVDs to make video mashups, a request to allow users to hack DRM protecting content from stores that have gone bankrupt or shut down, and a request to allow security researchers to reverse engineer video games with security flaws that put end-users at risk." Reader MistaE provides some more specific links to PDF versions: "Among the exemption proposals is a request from the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic to allow circumvention of DRM protection when the central authorization server goes down, a request from the EFF to allow circumvention to install third party programs on phones, as well as a request for ripping DVDs for non-commercial purposes. There were also several narrow requests from educational institutions to rip DVDs for classroom practices."
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DMCA Exemptions Desired To Hack iPhones, Remix DVDs

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  • how about (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coraon ( 1080675 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @03:14PM (#25978533)
    having the DMCA only apply when and if the person or persons infringing are intending to do so for a profit. That would make the DMCA a law I could get behind.
  • Too late to file? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by powerlord ( 28156 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @03:21PM (#25978613) Journal

    Is it too late for Psytar [] to file for an exemption? ~

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @03:28PM (#25978727)

    add bypassing of hardware locks in software so people can BUY mac os x and run it on any system that they want. There also been other apps and that used other types of hardware lock in as well. Also add bypassing printer ink lock out chips used to keep 3rd party's out.

    You should also have the right to add bigger hd's to game consoles / drvs and other devices that try sell you there own hd size upgrades at very high cost.

    Smart phones also need to have the right to bypass any type of sim locks / network locks / even phone app network locks as well.

  • Re:how about (Score:3, Interesting)

    by syzler ( 748241 ) < minus bsd> on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @04:35PM (#25979777)
    How about changing the DMCA so that any copyright holder who uses DRM agrees to only a 17 year copyright term on the DRM encumbered work. If they want the longer (I.E. unreasonable) length term then they have to forego DRM.
  • by grandpa-geek ( 981017 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @04:36PM (#25979783)

    I've had two situations in which I had a legally-obtained older version of software for which the provider had dropped support, which included dropping support for the DRM built into the products.

    In one case, you had to call in, give them your product ID and get a DRM key. I wanted to move the product from an older machine to a newer one. I called in and they told me they had dropped support, including handling the DRM keys, and to buy their new product. The old product served my needs, and the new one had improvements that were useless to me. Luckily, one tech support person was nice and told me where I could find the DRM key value in the old installation, that I hadn't yet deleted. Had I needed to reinstall for any reason, I would have been stuck.

    In another case the DRM required either an internet connection or printer access during installation. This was not explained in the installation instructions. I was installing software on a new machine and hadn't yet set up either internet or printer. With that (early) DRM, if you didn't go through the procedure at installation time, there was no opportunity to do it later. The provider later came out with other versions and dropped support for this version. I moved on to using a FOSS product, so I never tried to resolve the issue, but I have a useless copy of that particular software. It didn't set me back any cost, because I had won a copy of the product in a drawing at a trade show booth for people who sat through a demo of something.

    If DRM support is dropped for a version of a product, it should be treated as an abandoned product, even if the DRM is maintained for later versions.

  • Re:How about this (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @04:39PM (#25979833) Homepage Journal

    You're right, and so's the GP. The GP is right about how the law is written, but you're right about how the courts have chosen to interpret it.

    Luckily, some judges have seen fit to ignore the letter of the DMCA and given people the right to do what they should always have been allowed to do.

    Asking for these exemptions might cause the government to realize what total idiocy the DMCA is though.

  • DIVX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:49PM (#25981995)

    Among the exemption proposals is a request from the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic to allow circumvention of DRM protection [] when the central authorization server goes down

    Which first lists Circuit City's Digital Video Express (DIVX) disks under "DRM-based Stores Have Failed In the Past":

    1. Circuit City's Digital Video Express (DIVX) Service
    2. Google Video Store
    3. Microsoft's MSN Music Store
    4. Yahoo Music
    5. Wal-Mart's Music Store

    I hope it includes allowing for the authorization of my lawfully purchased copy of DVD X Copy Gold which I didn't get activated before the company was served with a cease-and-desist. That would be sweet irony.

  • by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @10:00PM (#25983895)

    OK, fair enough. What about the other 99% of artists, who do spend more than a week in the recording studio (or on location at a film, or in their studio painting, etc), or who some consider to be talented, or who can't get anywhere near the equivalent income from selling their art as any other skilled person?

    Touring, selling t-shirts and stickers on their website, and having day jobs if they're not making enough money off their hobbies... like the rest of us do. I live and work in Los Angeles, and so I have friends (the kind who actually consider ME their friend) who range from small time entertainment to international superstars that are used to seeing their faces on the front of tabloids. I'm not so detached from the industry that I'm unaware at how a change like this would affect them personally, and I tell them the same thing. "No such thing as a free ride." It keeps them in the black for now, and when their draconian royalties payment system catches up with the rest of the world's economic flow, they probably won't be left to starve.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake