Monday, March 09, 2015

Electronic Frontier Foundation publishes booklet online on DMCA chilling effects; Godaddy throttles Twitter Embeds that appear to be legal

Electronic Frontier Foundation has a “booklet” PDF (free), titled “Unintended Consequences: Sixteen Years of the DMCA”, from September 2014, here . The DMCA, of course, refers to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.  There is an Executive Summary, a Conclusion, and five intervening sections in the report.

One of the biggest issues is that the DMCA comes into play when Fair Use is likely in play.
One disturbing episode was the arrest of Skylarov for his “advanced E-book processor” when most of the uses would be fair.  (By the way, I still don’t know why my first “Do Ask Do Tell” books aren’t available on Kindle, when they once were.  I don’t know if it is a contract issue, format, or whatever, and I haven’t had time to pursue it.)

One of the most disturbing incidents was the decision by tech publisher Wiley not to publish a book by Andrew Huang on security flaws in the XBOX, on the specious theory that the book could amount to a circumvention method.
Another was that censorware vendoer N2H2 blocked people from researching its software on questionable theories of DMCA circumvention. And “voluntary censorware” (or content labeling) would actually be a good idea, as I have suggested recently (on my COPA blog Feb 26 and my IT Job Market blog Feb. 27). 
Craigslist has sued competitors, and Apple has tied the iPhone to its own APP Store.
In the video above, Jonathan Bailey talks about YouTube DMCA Safe Harbor takedowns.
There have also been issues with Godaddy taking down Twitter embeds under DMCA under circumstances that seem legal under copyright law, as explained here by "Dissembling".  This needs more detailed study. 
Yes: the music above was composed by me.  It's a work in progress.   But it's mine.  RIAA, "Oh go way butterfly!"  

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