Wednesday, October 16, 2002

if I tell you i'll have to kill you: fighting the DMCA

The DMCA being the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. No, it is not a federal provision to protect people from inane boy bands and their facetiously titled albums of vacuous music. What the DMCA does is label the act of "circumventing" copyright protection systems as a crime. Since this largely corporate-backed, the anti-populist implications of the act are evident to the general public. They are immediately hilarious fodder for black comedy, but on closer examination you will find myriad issues to debate and ponder as well as challenge. Especially in the United States (aka the land of the 'free'). I just caught a post on slashdot about an article in The Register about a new RedHat kernel patch that cannot be explained to U.S. citizens or others in the U.S. because of DMCA restrictions. The "illegal" explanation is hosted at, a site created specifically to deal with these DMCA issues.

If the suits think the DMCA is the right way, they need to think again. Any good intentions behind the act are clearly overshadowed by the far-reaching consequences of its dictates. I just ran a DMCA search on Google and interestingly enough the first link on the results page is to the Anti-DMCA website. Apparently, a lot of people and webpages seem to agree that the DMCA is evil. Remember Dmitri Sklyarov?

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