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Great DMCA presentation

This short but on-target slideshow about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) really hits home about the DMCA’s crazy anti-circumvention measures. It was made (and thankfully released under a Creative Commons by-nc license!) by Wellington Grey, who writes a great webcomic called Miscellanea about “science, religion, teaching, politics and the not-coming-soon-enough technological singularity.”

Thanks to the Infowarrior list for originally posting this. Inforwarrior includes “commentary and articles and occasional items of interest in the technology, security, policy, and current events areas.” If you’re not subscribed, you should get over there right now and sign up.

DMCA’s convoluted absurdities in unusually stark relief

The iPhone is locked so that it has to be used with AT&T’s cellphone network. This article about software that allows users to unlock the phones asks "Would computer owners pick up an iMac that only worked with AT&T’s DSL service?"

While cell phone unlocking is now legal under The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) because of a decision last year by the Library of Congress, this article speculates that AT&T will attempt to block sale of software allowing users to do so.

Allowing consumers to unlock their own property but not allowing them to purchase the tools to do so is the sort of situation that belongs only in Kafka, not in modern rulemaking.

DMCA creator Lehman admits failure of DMCA

Bruce Lehman, who, as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks under Bill Clinton, was one of the main architects of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, gave a presentation at a conference on copyright reform at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. During his talk, Lehman admitted that “our Clinton administration policies didn’t work out very well” and “our attempts at copyright control have not been successful” and laid much of the blame on the recording industry for not adapting to the changing marketplace.

Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, has more on his blog including video of the Lehman’s presentation.