Rule-making on allowable reasons for DMCA circumvention falls due again
“Starting Nov. 19, the United States Copyright Office will begin taking public comments on the section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, known as the DMCA, which prohibits people from breaking encryption technologies.
When the DMCA was enacted Oct. 28, 1998, a provision was built in that requires the registrar of copyrights and the assistant secretary for communications and information to revisit certain aspects of the law every three years.”
The rule making is supposed to determine what circumvention activities are legal. But the problem is that it will have little immediate impact on what people can do to circumvent digital copyright protection. The arbiters might find that certain users (e.g. librarians) might have legitimate reasons for circumventing the copy protection in, say, e-books. But the DMCA still makes illegal all tools for achieving that end. The only way out of this is to amend the DMCA.