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U.S. Copyright Office mulling proposals to allow jailbreaking

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 18 May 2012 23:02 User comments (1)

U.S. Copyright Office mulling proposals to allow jailbreaking Copyright Office considering DMCA exemptions again.
Every three years it must take requests for temporary loopholes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The last time it consulted the public, it OK'd the jailbreaking of phones in order to break free from a carrier, decrypting a DVD to copy clips for use in documentaries or for educational reasons, and also the breaking of DRM on e-books so that the blind could enable read-aloud features.

Those exemptions are set to expire now, unless the Copyright Office decides to uphold them. On top of that decision, the Copyright Office is being asked to make exemptions that would allow the public to break the copy protection to DVDs in order to make backup copies or format-shift.

The DMCA does allow for fair use of content, but at the same time it outlaws the circumvention of copy protection mechanisms in order to make a copy.

It is also being asked to consider proposals to exempt the practise of jailbreaking mobile phones, games consoles and tablet PCs, so that users can have total control over their devices.

Predictably, the motion picture industry is completely against exemptions that would allow the decrypting of DVD content. "If we didn't have access controls, there might be the same kind of mass piracy we've seen with unprotected music," Clarissa Weirick, the general counsel of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, said.

Along with a representative from Fox, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), she also opposed the retention of the exemption that allows for circumvention of DVD copy protection in order to extract clips for education, or documentary-related uses. They argued that filmmakers could use screen-capturing software for this purpose, or simply license clips from the studio.

Tags: DMCA

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1 user comment

120.5.2012 5:00

no if you going to support acta you can't do this as well since this is against the law...

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