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Copyright Office Notice on Anti-Circumvention (fwd)

   I thought this notice is important for free software developers (in
particular) to be aware of.  My hope is that this clause of the DMCA will
be struck down by the courts as overreaching the powers of Congress, but
we should be letting the library of congress know there are legitimate
fair use issues with <insert your concern here>.
   I'm most concerned with the ability to read code (through decompiling
or just disassembly) to understand the underlying ideas.  This is
currently considered fair use of code (see Sega vs. Accolade) in the US,
to the dismay of many IP lawyers.  Circumventing fair use via encryption
and this clause of the DMCA is not a practice that should go without


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 15:11:23 -0800
From: John Muller <johnmuller@earthlink.net>
Reply-To: cni-copyright@cni.org
To: Multiple recipients of list <cni-copyright@cni.org>
Subject: Copyright Office Notice on Anti-Circumvention

I haven't seen this news posted here, apologies if it already has been:   

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the Copyright Office published a
Notice of Inquiry inviting public comment on whether "there are classes 
of works as to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected 
in their ability to make noninfringing uses if they are prohibited from
circumventing such technological measures."  The Librarian of Congress 
has authority to exempt such classes of works from the anti-circumvention
prohibition in Section 1201(a) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,
which goes into effect on 10/28/2000.  

The full text of the Federal Register release and other related info is
available at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/1201/anticirc.html.  Comments 
are due by February 10, 2000.

John Muller
"The ladder of law has no top and no bottom"

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