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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

"Unintended Consequences"

The EFF has a white paper out this month by attorney Fred von Lohmann ("Unintended Consequences, Three Years Under The DMCA") examining the impact of the DMCA and its anti-circumvention provisions. (The links to the EFF home page and the .pdf of the white paper are not working for me at the moment, but the Google html version is here.) Using real world examples of disputes arising under the DMCA, the report makes the case for how the legislation "chills free expression and scientific research," "jeapardizes fair use," and "impedes competition and innovation." It also observes,
"As an increasing number of copyright works are wrapped in technological protection measures, it is likely that the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions will be applied in further unforeseen contexts, hindering the legitimate activities of innovators, researchers, the press, and the public at large."
Those who contemplate the banning of Magic Markers, or of writing about them - like Newsforge - emphasize just how unintended and absurd potential applications of the law could get. The white paper is a thoughtful round-up and analysis of DMCA cases, well worth the read. [Via]

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