Sunday, July 07, 2019
Section 1201 of the DMCA gradually comes under litigation
Electronic Frontier Foundation and Kit Walsh report on litigation on whether Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, when it disallows the normal concept of “fair use” in prohibiting users from decrypting certain software features. This has been called the prohibition against fixing your own car or your own computer, which people ought to be good at in a practical world.
The Library of Congress has some discretion in overriding Section 1201 when there is a likelihood that a plaintiff will prevail in certain kinds of fair use claims within two or three years. It’s pretty complicated.
The legislation is thought to be important in preventing misappropriation of American technology by foreign interest, especially China, and it may be pertinent to recent “national security bans” of some Chinese products, and to the tariff issue.