Jail Time in the Digital Age

Copyright scholar (and Electronic Frontier Foundation board member) Lawrence Lessing neatly skewers the DMCA:

The D.M.C.A. outlaws technologies designed to circumvent other technologies that protect copyrighted material. It is law protecting software code protecting copyright. The trouble, however, is that technologies that protect copyrighted material are never as subtle as the law of copyright. Copyright law permits fair use of copyrighted material; technologies that protect copyrighted material need not. Copyright law protects for a limited time; technologies have no such limit. Thus when the D.M.C.A. protects technology that in turn protects copyrighted material, it often protects much more broadly than copyright law does. It makes criminal what copyright law would forgive. (More from the New York Times.)

A tip of the pen to Metafilter.

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