RealNews

Tech's love-hate relationship with the DMCA

When it comes to the subject of copyright protection, neither Intel nor Hewlett-Packard can make up its mind what to do. The two companies seem to simultaneously love and loathe the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the 1998 law that’s famously unpopular among hackers, programmers and the open-source crowd. Last week, Intel and HP’s names appeared on a press release circulated by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) opposing crucial changes to section 1201 of the DMCA. Specifically, the BSA lashed out at a bill that would make it legal to bypass copy-protection mechanisms–as long as you’re not planning to circulate the resulting file to tens of thousands of your closest friends. The BSA, likely the world’s most influential antipiracy group, offered the following warning: “Of particular concern, provisions of this legislation allowing the disablement of technological protection measures on copyrighted materials would provide safe harbor for pirates who could easily claim that the ‘intent’ of their actions were legal even if it resulted in knowingly unlawful infringement and economic loss to copyright owners.” Full Story

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