I'm sorry - did I miss something?
"...and undermines the DMCA, which has fostered greater access to more works by more people than at any time in our history."
US citizens can legally jailbreak and unlock their smartphones — notably Apple's iPhone — and videographers can circumvent copy protection to use short movie snippets for "criticism or comment". This rulemaking decision by the US Copyright Office's Librarian of Congress to grant exceptions to the Digital Milleneium Copyright …
I assume the spokestard was referring to the backlash that has made it socially acceptable to download and distribute copyrighted works. (YouTube alone probably *has* fostered greater access to more works by more people than all the rest of history put together.)
Still, it seems a little unfair to blame the DMCA. The Act was just one of the mechanisms used by the big publishers to destroy this particular social contract.
Obviously the DMCA was rushed into law without due consideration. This is a big win for the people, but I have to wonder, what changed law maker's minds? The arguments for and against the DMCA are the same today as when it was instituded. Are the media companies falling out of favor with law makers?
Just remember, this is _ONLY_ for the actual legality of the cracking itself. This provides some safety to those writing and hosting the software used for these activities, but on the consumer side of things we still have the actual terms of service agreements and warranty provisions on the side of the carries and manufacturers respectively. Just because it is no longer illegal under the DCMA to crack under these specific circumstances doesn't change the fact that the contracts (can and do) still stipulate you may not unlock the phone (Carrier TOS/Contract) and that if you do you may be subject to actions against yourself (Carrier TOS/Contract) and your warranty on said devices will be gone (Manufacturer Eula/Warranty Provisions).
So while it isn't "illegal" anymore, it remains a clear breach of (legally binding) contract and both the carriers and manufacturers will continue to wield the same axes as before.
In fact I wouldn't be surprised if we see a them sharpening those axes a little more now. From a manufacturers standpoint, "kill switches" like the new Droid has may begin to make more sense and thus become far more common place now that they have lost the "legal" channel over which they could go after the people making the cracking software. If they can't deal with the issue at the high level, it may make sense to enforce it at a more general, user level.
I hope I am wrong, but I just can't help but feel the EFF has once again done a single right that will result in a greater wrong.
Contracts such as a ToS or a EULA have regularly been shown to be unenforcable, due to the inability of anyone to actually comprehend what's written in there. They may, perhaps, still apply to lawyers, but the rest of us are only really bound by the stuff that's spelled out in plain English elsewhere. At least if you take the case to court anyway.
Also, on the individual level, it's rather like speeding. If the cops see you speeding, they're liable to give you a ticket, but they're usually too busy doing something else (eating donuts) to actively look for speeders.
If the copyright office makes it 'legal' to hack a phone - for a 'legitimate' purpose, that's fine. but it doesn't mean that a private network operator has to allow a modified device onto their network. Considering that Cellphones participate in an encrypted data exchange, a cracked phone represents a security failure. Most networks will now simply crank up the level of protection and actively scan for and block cracked phones.
I always hate it when the freetards representing the EFF try to use the car analogy. The problem is that you're not dealing with a car. If I were to take my car - inside the manufacturer's warranty and have a new engine management system installed, along with replacements for other significant mechanical parts, the manufacturer's dealer network would not honor the warranty on anything altered, and would weasel out of the warranty on anything that could possibly be related to the modifications. They might even refuse to service the thing at all. This is the same thing. If you crack a phone you're replacing some of he essential software components voiding the warranty of the device. Similarly to the car, why should your wireless carrier now accept that device back onto their network when they have no idea what modifications you have made?
"Considering that Cellphones participate in an encrypted data exchange, a cracked phone represents a security failure."
The encrypted data exchange is made by the UMTS handshaking, and that's handled by the SIM card. That particular element isn't being "cracked" by jailbreaking, so the comms are still secure. Carriers don't care what kind of data you're carrying, except maybe VoIP or if they deem that you're "hogging" resources. And unlike a car, you can actually re-flash the OS on a cellphone if it ever gets erased by a software bug. If Sony can manage this with the PSP, I can't see why a Fisher-Price toy can't be restored as well.
Not to worry. If the jail break is to use the phone on another carrier then who really cares about the original Carrier TOS/Contract anyway and as long as there is a way to sneak back in jail then I imagine the warranty could still be in play.
As for the axe sharpening, I wouldn't sweat it since Apple has been doing this with every software update they push out. Both to fix jailbreaks and keep the likes of Palm out and I don't believe a kill switch of some kind hasn't been worked on already. I find it more likely that Jobs has been loath to pull that particular trigger.
I can imagine a much easier fix from Apple's point of view.
Add a line to the warranty related to jailbreaking, then next time you go for a software update instead of "fixing" your hack, Apple disowns you and will no longer update any software/firmware on that handset. Ever. Even after you sell it.
After all, if you decide to jailbreak their system, a conscious decision on your part, you obviously are only interested in the hardware - which there would still fall under the warranty of merchantability rules/laws. But the bits, well you'll have to "rely on the kindness of strangers."
Good luck with that.
I'm sure AT&T will come up with something unpleasant also.
Dropping the whole DMCA would be better, but at least these key rulings make the point that what should matter is if you go on to break the law (e.g. whole sale copying), which of course is already illegal and you could be prosecuted for, and NOT if you are doing something to allow reasonable use of your *own* hardware and legally obtained media (e.g. snippets for criticism). Though in rather defined cases here.
Also interesting will be the implications of this for the likes of "DVD Jon", after all, if circumvention of a dongle is reasonable when you can no longer get it fixed/supported, why not if you cant get the industry to fix/support your OS?
There have been some shoddily-done DMCA takedown attempts, especially in the early days. But that process of notification by a copyright holder doesn't just get used by megacorps with pocketfuls of lawyers. If you're an author, and somebody has put out an unauthorised Kindle version of one of your works, you can hit Amazon with a takedown notice.
Or I could. I have stuff out on web pages, and if somebody decides to distribute a paid-for e-book version, make money out of my work, either pay me, or obey the DMCA,
Welcome to a negligible fraction of DMCA takedown notices. Amazon's same DRM powers also let them take away ebooks you foolishly thought you bought. Besides, isn't it a little bit crooked that those work whether or not the accusation is true? Take a stroll through Title 17 U.S.C. some time. It's not a pretty place these days. I suspect that many of the clauses therein are only allowed to exist because most of the population which is legally bound to obey them does not know about it. I didn't know how bad it was until I read it myself.
I also wish to add that authors are among the most vocal critics of the DMCA and DRM--partly because of their unfortunate effect on book sales. Books have historically been one of the most freely shared forms of media, and are the very origin of the concept of fair use--which the DMCA quite plainly shits all over. How many books have you found out about because somebody lent it to you? Books spread because their readership spreads them and thereby encourages others to get their own in hardcopy, because nothing feels quite as nice to read as a book in your hands--not to mention the little touches of clever typography that you tend to lose with ebooks. I mean, compare the Principia Discordia to its PDF analogue. I'm still ordering the thing in hardcopy because somebody lent it to me once and it's just way better than the PDF. DRM-infested texts have proven so unpopular with customers that many ebook publishers no longer bother; for example, O'Reilly's ebook sales more than double after they dumped DRM.
In fact, it's quite common for authors to put up at least part of a work entirely for free, then advertise that the entire thing is going to be a book. Sometimes, to make the thing more attractive, the author will add material to the book that's not on the website, but often it goes both ways; for example, both the internet version and the printed version of James Lileks' _The Gallery of Regrettable Food_ have things that are not in the other; the same is probably true of _Interior Desecrations_ and, in any case, everybody I know who's bought either had already read the majority of the material on the internet--and they bought them anyway. Alternatively, putting things on the website that aren't in the book encourages more people to visit the website. It works nicely both ways, and it's a popular tactic these days. Sometimes an author will put up a few books or a few chapters and then put the full version in print; if you really liked reading it, will you flinch at the idea of spending a few dollars to have the whole thing in your hands? And that's a thing to note--books usually just aren't very expensive unless the're rare*. If the price is right, more people will pay it.
I recall it created quite a stir when it became known that _Why's Poignant Guide to Ruby_ was going to be made into a proper printed book; I remember Ruby hackers waiting, salivating with one hand in their wallets, /to buy something that they already read for free/. Why? Because then they could own it; because then they could have it; because then it could be /theirs/. You don't get to do that with those obnoxious ebooks, software, and other media that you cannot own but merely license.
Authors want people to read their work--not shun it because it's bound in something nobody wants that tries to prevent people from treating books like books, and part of that is sharing them with your friends. When you buy a book, you /own/ it, and that's an awful nice thing these days, isn't it?
*Or they're recently published editions of textbooks, which obey their own horrifying system of economics because students have little or no choice in what they buy or for how much. I should be brief; that's a whole other hideous story. But who wants to pirate three hundred pages of poorly-worded calculus problems when it's $20 used anyway?
I agree and i too like to "own" my stuff. And that is why i may jailbreak a device. By severing certain control ties with the manufacturer/provider, i am able to, for example, add an actual file manager to that device and backup my data (ebooks, etc.). It can also allow me to refuse unwanted updates that are either of no interest or will wrest control from the rightful hands of the device's owner (i.e., me).
What i'm saying is that there's a subtle tangibility to virtual things that's not always seen or recognized and that these things CAN be *ours* if we want them to (and with a little elbow grease).
"MPAA spokesperson Elizabeth Kaltman told The Reg in an email: "The Librarian's decision unnecessarily blurs the bright line established in the DMCA against circumvention of technical protection measures and undermines the DMCA, which has fostered greater access to more works by more people than at any time in our history.""
Hah,,,the MPAA's history maybe...
Are they shitting us? They actually told us to go fuck ourselves.... uh, that is, get our clips by sitting our cameras on a tripod in front of a monitor?
Cripes. A friend of mine had to pull that, once; luckily, along with a decent MiniDV cam, he also had a 16:9 LCD (or TFT?) flatscreen with nice, sharp fidelity, relatively faithful color, and no discernible flicker. Otherwise, he'd have been sunk.
I've done that once or twice, with a camcorder pointed at the screen of my iBook turned up to full bright, in order to capture embedded video I couldn't get any other way from TV station sites that don't allow for the downloading of video files. There was no flicker to deal with, but the resulting footage took some cleaning up in FinalCutPro to make it halfway presentable.
You see it on YouTube sometimes, too -- people with LCD flatscreens just grabbing a Flip cam or something and pointing it at the screen when whatever they want to grab comes on. The image is solid and reasonably clean, but still has that unmistakable Shot Off A Monitor Look.
That said, yeah, that's a pretty goddamn' insulting suggestion coming from the likes of the pigopolists -- _especially_ after all that whining about the "analog hole".
and their lapdogs in the US Congress start putting pressure on the Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress to reverse this ruling ? Remember that in the US, they have the best legislators, presidents, judges, dog catchers, whatever, that money can buy....
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