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Dmca Case Rejected By Court May Go To Supreme Court

Dmca Case Rejected By Court May Go To Supreme Court – Digital Millennium Copyright Act

On May 8, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied ‘2600 Magazine”s request for a review of a November 2001 appeals court decision that upheld an injunction against the Web publisher. Major Hollywood movie studios obtained an injunction in 2000, barring ‘2600 Magazine’ from publishing or linking to DeCSS software that decodes DVDs.

Represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan, ‘2600 Magazine’ in January 2002 asked the entire appellate court to reconsider the decision that upheld the lower court’s injunction.

The case is one of the first to challenge the anti-circumvention measures of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as an unconstitutional restraint on freedom of speech. EFF and ‘2600 Magazine’ are considering whether to appeal the 2nd Circuit’s ruling to the Supreme Court.

There are many serious flaws and issues in the DMCA. For information on the case and related cases see: http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/MPAA_DVD_cases

The EFF has also issued an EFF White Paper entitled “Unintended Consequences: Three Years under the DMCA”. The full text of the nine-page report, prepared by EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann and released May 3, is an eye-opener into how corporate entities are abusing DMCA’s Section 1201 to suppress the public’s right to information and to manipulate it under “fair use”. Such “fair use” is apparently nowhere to be seen in the DMCA law. Many live Web links to additional DMCA information is provided by the report.

Many non-U.S. authors, programmers, and researchers have decided to pursue their activities offshore as well as to hold conferences and meetings outside the U.S. rather than come under the U.S. DMCA constraints.

The ultimate result is that the current corporate DMCA efforts to “copy protect” will stifle virtually all electronic innovation in the U.S. – forcing the rest of the world to take the lead in everything from entertainment games and movies to learning and research.

The EFF White Paper “Unintended Consequences: Three Years under the DMCA” is available at: http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/20020503_dmca_consequences.pdf

The paper is a “must read” document for everyone. [RSH]

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