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Thursday, July 25, 2002

Can I Get A Little (Declaratory) Relief?

So asks the ACLU on behalf of Ben Edelman in the U.S. District Court, Massachusetts (great looking courthouse, btw) concerning Edelman's potentially DMCA-barred plans to discover and make known the "block list" used by the N2H2 Internet filtering software. Donna Wentworth and Declan McCullagh have this well covered with discussion, commentary and links (here, here and here), and Donna's interview with Ben Edelman is well worth the read. Donna notes it can be a long, hard road before a DMCA challenge like this may result in legal precedent, and Ben points out the differences between "extracting and analyzing an encrypted block list" and "extracting an encrypted movie from a DVD." This reminded me to check the status of another DMCA declaratory relief action pending here in California and discussed here and many elsewheres back in April. The 321 Studios case against MGM et al. (complaint here) reportedly was scheduled for hearing on the defendants' motion to dismiss before Judge Susan Illston (more here) tomorrow, according to a 321 Studios 6/14/02 Press Release. However, Judge Illston's calendar does not agree and I see no recent related news(?).

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