Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bill eats his hat

Wow; Ernest Miller is a lot more on top of this stuff than a) I am and b) I gave him credit for.

The best I can do is acknowledge that I was wrong, presumably because I read his writings on what the law SHOULD be as a statement about what the law IS. In a bit of self-defense, I might humbly suggest that he could have made that a bit more clear, but he has clearly not made the guffah here and I have. (Good bloggers make sure they've got it right.)

Check out his excoriating critique of legal protection for CSS; this is part of the DMCA hearings conducted every three hears.

I think the best way to apologize is to read his blog, The Importance Of..., more regularly (maybe I'll better follow extended debates this way) and to provide a link from mine.

Monday, June 06, 2005

WIPO solicits public commentary

WIPO symbol

I suspect it will not be generally heeded, but WIPO has begun soliciting public comments on international IP governance.

See WIPO's Online Forum on Intellectual Property in the Information Society
for further details.

HURRY; commentary period ends on June 15.

Bill Corrects a Yale Law Grad

I've just finished an excessively long comment on Ernest Miller's blog. I've linked to Miller's post (rather than my comment) to provide some context. To be fair, it's more like "Bill Nitpicks a Yale Law Grad," but the distinction is important.

I'm surprised more people aren't fired up about the difference between access control technologies and use control technologies. It's illegal to hack through the Lexis-Nexis password protection (an access control), but it's not illegal to hack into the technology that keeps you from copying certain CDs. (Of course, it's illegal to develop or distribute the tools to do either.)

Yet access controls are defined quite broadly, and very few protection measures are purely use-control technologies. If it's a dual-purpose technology--if it controls both access and use--one cannot circumvent it for any purpose, even to make fair use. (Who loves the DMCA? WE DO!)

All is not totally lost; the Copyright Office holds toothless triennial hearings to determine very narrow exemptions. For more details, see the Copyright Office's 1201 website. (In particular, see the Register of Copyrights' 2003 recommendations to the Librarian of Congress. Unfortunately, the PDF is seriously flawed right now; I've written them and asked for them to put up a better version that isn't missing dozens of pages.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Broadcast Flag takes another hit

Just back from NYC; trying to catch up, still no time to blog.

Hot off the Slyck News presses: the Broadcast Flag was beaten up by a Congressional Research Service report, which argues that the flag endangers fair use.

The report is available here; see page 5.