Time to Dump the DMCA
Is there anyone or anything untouchable by the DMCA?Its only January and already, theres been enough activity surrounding the notorious Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to last a lifetime. Just this week, Verizon Inc. was ordered to give-up the identity of a customer who reportedly used its network to make unauthorized copies of several hundred songs available online. Then theres the Chamberlain Group, an Elmhurst, Ill., automatic garage door opener manufacturer, which is trying to use a provision of the DMCA to force Skylink Technologies to stop distribution of a universal garage door remote. Chamberlain claims Skylink is circumventing a security code system that controls access to the software in its products. Is there anyone or anything untouchable by the DMCA?
Congress has at least two good chances to right this wrong. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) announced intentions earlier this month to reintroduce the Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2002. The bill would allow consumers to bypass technological copy protections built in to copyrighted work if the intent is to make a copy for personal use. And, on January 7, Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) reintroduced the Digital Media Consumers Rights Act, which he is co-sponsoring with Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), and Spencer Bachus (R-AL).