Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Fair use vs. DMCA As predicted, fair use will kill (change) the DMCA. Because "fair use" is not a right--it merely limits the copyright holder's ability to enforce copyright--DRM systems eliminate it complete and legally under the DMCA. Obviously this has to change, or as Boucher puts it: "The only conduct that should be declared criminal is circumvention for the purpose of infringing a copyright." But enabling non-copyright infringing uses of digital copyrighted material would make a DRM system even more hideously unworkable than they are now. This will further raise the price of copyright enforcement, tilting cost advantage towards systems that embrace public domain information. I see such interests pushing for expanding the public domain over the next ten years through reducing copyright's ridiculously long term.


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