Thursday , June 20 2024

Boucher Still Wants DMCA Changed

Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., says ElcomSoft’s acquittal doesn’t sway him away from wanting to change the DMCA (previously discussed here), he reveals in an interview with CNET:

    “As far as the bill going forward is concerned, the need for the legislation is as great as ever,” Boucher said in an interview. “While this jury reached a commendable decision, another jury in a future case that involves similar facts could well convict. The law clearly contemplates conviction in circumstances where no infringement occurs, but the technology facilitates bypassing a technological protection measure.”

    By repealing key portions of the DMCA, Boucher’s bill would have prevented the Justice Department from prosecuting ElcomSoft, a Russian company that sold a program to remove the copy protection from Adobe Systems’ e-books. If the proposed Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act, co-sponsored by John Doolittle, R-Calif., were to become law, ElcomSoft’s Advanced eBook Processor would become legal to sell.

    ….The Boucher-Doolittle bill would make three changes to the DMCA, all designed to permit people to bypass copy-protection schemes for legitimate purposes:

    • An exemption would be created saying anyone who “is acting solely in furtherance of scientific research into technological protection measures” would be able to distribute his or her code. That would permit Felten and other researchers–such as a programmer being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a current lawsuit–to publish their work without the threat of lawsuits.

    • Bypassing technological protections would be permissible if done for legitimate “fair-use” purposes. The bill says it would not be a violation of federal law to “circumvent a technological measure”–as long as it does not lead to “an infringement of the copyright in the work.”

    • Creating a utility like DeCSS.exe might become legal. The bill says it would be legal to “manufacture, distribute, or make noninfringing use of a hardware or software product capable of enabling significant noninfringing use of a copyrighted work.”

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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