6 new copyright exemptions

The US copyright office at the Library of Congress has issued 6 new copyright exemptions. Basically, there are 6 new (narrow) exemptions from the DMCA:

* anyone can now ‘unlock’ cell phones

* film professors can break CSS to make compilations of short clips from DVDs

* blind people can use software that circumvents DRM on e-books to allow them to use screen readers (I’m sure mr Sklyarov is happy about that one)

* if hardware is no longer available for legacy computer software and games bypassing the technological protection measures is allowed for archival

* if you have software that requires a dongle that can not be replaced, you are allowed to circumvent the dongle if it breaks

* researchers can do what they need to to test crippled audio CDs for security flaws

So, great, some small exceptions. But they don’t address the root of the problem – the DMCA is a bad piece of legislation that needs to be repealed. One comment on the Slashdot story summarizes the situation as follows:

I feel as if I got punched in the face and the LoC is passing by and helpfully giving me a tooth back. What about all the other missing teeth?

Amen. Congress needs to do something about the DMCA.

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