Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Legally aquired alternate endings and outtakes.

LawMeme has submitted an excellent DMCA exemption proposal to the Librarian of Congress. (For those who haven't heard: a provision of the DMCA says that exemptions must be considered every three years. The current comment period ends in February.)

LawMeme's comment is particularly excellent because it focuses on ancillary DVD features (outtakes, commentary), which are generally not available in other formats. This is clever because the court has been reluctant to consider Fair Use arguments where alternate formats are available. (In the 2600 case, the court held that Fair Use doesn't have to be possible in the "most convenient" format--just in some format.)

Sadly, the DMCA's
comment provision only applies to section 1201(a) (the "use clause"), not 1201(b) (the "trafficking clause"). So even with this exemption, it would be illegal to circumvent CSS with acquired tools. You'd have to create your own tools from scratch. Hardly practical.

Still, it would be progress. It would be absurd if it were legal to break CSS for DVD extras but not for the DVD movie itself, but this exemption would achieve just that. The more absurdity and inconsistency surrounding the DMCA, the better off we'll be.

No comments:

Post a Comment