Big day over here: Associated Press' Anick Jesdanun has written a story on the DMCA exemption request process, including Blogcritics' support role in the request put together by brilliant Lawmeme editor Ernest Miller. Deepest thanks again to Ernie for including us in his thinking and allowing us to take part in the process. My only complaint with AP's balanced and well-written story is that it doesn't sufficiently credit Miller - so I will: thanks Ernie!
The AP story can be found at least four places (please tell me if you find more), including the Seattle Times, Detroit News, Dayton Daily News, and Boston Globe, with the Seattle Times version most complete:
- The battle over the act is in essence a struggle over intellectual freedom - the ability to circulate ideas freely - as more and more of what humans create finds its way into digital form.
Researchers complain the law inhibits their ability to fully study encryption and computer security. Preservationists say they can't make archival copies. Educators say they can't incorporate digital clips into presentations.
Even a federal jury in San Jose, Calif., seemed sympathetic to the objectors.
On Tuesday, it acquitted a Russian software company of copyright violations for developing tools to unlock controls on electronic-book software that can restrict personal printing and copying.
Copyright holders say the law is working as designed and has made them more willing to release e-books, movies on DVDs and software over the Internet.
With copyright holders wanting stronger protections and users seeking greater freedom to copy, Congress "looked at those extremes and struck a balance," said Robert Holleyman, chief executive of the Business Software Alliance.
Blogcritics is mentioned extensively, and there is an, ahem, photo.
The article does a good job of getting at the underlying issues of content control vs. freedom of information and fair use rights. Getting even deeper into the philosophy of copyright is this paper by David Walker:
- During the Enlightenment, two conflicting viewpoints on the nature of authorship, creativity, and copyright emerged. One view, proposed by the French thinker Denis Diderot, advanced the notion that literary works are unique creations of the individual mind, and thus should be protected as the most sacred form of property. The other view, advanced by the Marquis de Condorcet, saw literary works as the expression of ideas that already exist in nature, and thus belong to all and should be made available to all for the common good. Both viewpoints had a profound influence on the changing legal status of intellectual property during the French Revolution. Even more, this paper will argue that these two conflicting viewpoints, both of which were firmly grounded in Enlightenment thought, still continue to have an influence into the present, and the tension between the two continues to be played out in the arena of copyright in the United States in the year 2000. The paper will examine both time periods, taking as its analytical framework a model in which the preexisting state of copyright changed to a new form of copyright due to a crisis in publishing. During the French Revolution, political upheaval changed copyright in France from a Diderot-like model to a Condorcet-like model. Recent trends in copyright law in the United States, however, seem to suggest that the crisis of the Information Revolution will produce the exact opposite result.