Librarian of Congress grants limited DRM-breaking rights for cars, games, phones, tablets, and remixers

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If a person were to break DRM illegally, would they get a normal trial or is it some sort of crazy special court?
If the former, I see this as a good place to start pushing for nullification much like how prohibition became a dead letter law due to juries around the country refusing to convict based on the law being unjust.


How precisely does writing and arguing a point like this involve great expense? It sounds fairly easy to do…

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As the author of the e-book space-shifting proposal (mentioned by name as “Christopher Meadows” on page 64 of the PDF—yay, I’m famous!), I’m disappointed they didn’t grant it, but not terribly surprised. I didn’t really expect it to be granted anyway. But I’m still gratified they took it seriously enough to consider and respond to. And maybe it’ll do some good somewhere down the line to have the request out there as part of the public record.


Thanks for the analysis. I was reading (in the NYT, for instance) about how this was a victory for the EFF and I kept thinking… wait a second… something doesn’t smell right here. Glad to know my nose was correct.


Well, you have to hire extremely specialized IP lawyers to do it. The labor market for IP lawyers is dominated by huge entertainment firms. The low-end salary is in excess of six figures. Each lawyer would require several weeks of dedicated time to write comments and reply comments.The number of filings this year was 27+. Three years from now, given the IoT, it will likely be in excess of 1,000.


I would assume that since much of this law is new, that such specialized lawyers would not have much advantage over somebody studying current developments on their own.

That sounds, to me, like a reason not to use them.

If I had to choose between giving up because I didn’t have millions of dollars, or doing some research and trying to do it myself, I’d say that the latter sounds like a better option. I might not technically be able to afford doing so, but I might not be able to afford the consequences of rolling over, either.

Manufactured scarcity.

The modem world threatens to make abundant the stuff of human happiness. A few brave corporations stood tall, bought the ear of government, and wrote some laws.

Now all will be well again, forever more

Yeah, so why or why not routers (and moreover software defined radio?) I thought the vulnerable, unsupported 802.11n device load out there would be compelling…

Apparently nobody bothered to request the right to unlock them? Per a footnote on page 138 of the Register of Copyrights’s recommendations concerning unlocking requests:

No party in this proceeding has claimed that the concept of unlocking is relevant to other wireless communications technologies, such as those using the IEEE 802.11 standard employed in Wi-Fi routers, the Bluetooth standard, ANT wireless network technology, or mesh networks.

Routers don’t even get mentioned in the Librarian’s final exemption document. You have to put in a petition for an exemption to be considered. In another couple of years, they should ask for more exemption requests, so you can put one in then if you want it.

That being said, I was able to sit down in half an hour and bang out my own petition request, which did get considered and rejected in the end. Though the fact that I didn’t have highly-paid IP lawyers on hand to bring up supporting evidence in the later phases is a large part of the reason why I wasn’t surprised it did get rejected. I’d been hoping that the EFF and others would be interested enough in the idea to put in a little effort there, but they apparently had other things to worry about.

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