[conspire] (forw) The US Government Just Liberated Your iPhone

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jul 26 12:24:38 PDT 2010

"The DMCA does not forbid the act of circumventing copy controls."
(This does not legalise all circumvention of copy prevention, but does
vindicate the claim many of us have been making that preventing fair
use through copy prevention technology should _not_ be legally

----- Forwarded message from Beth W <badastrum at gmail.com> -----

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 12:17:37 -0500
From: Beth W <badastrum at gmail.com>
To: skeptic <skeptic at lists.johnshopkins.edu>
Subject: The US Government Just Liberated Your iPhone


A landmark U.S. Copyright Office decision says it's now OK to
"jailbreak" your iPhone and install unauthorized software, which Apple
claimed was illegal. Also, you can now crack DVDs and e-books. It's
the summer of data liberation; go nuts!


Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to Section 1201 Rulemaking

Section 1201(a)(1) of the copyright law requires that every three
years I am to determine whether there are any classes of works that
will be subject to exemptions from the statute’s prohibition against
circumvention of technology that effectively controls access to a
copyrighted work.  I make that determination at the conclusion of a
rulemaking proceeding conducted by the Register of Copyrights, who
makes a recommendation to me.  Based on that proceeding and the
Register’s recommendation, I am to determine whether the prohibition
on circumvention of technological measures that control access to
copyrighted works is causing or is likely to cause adverse effects on
the ability of users of any particular classes of copyrighted works to
make noninfringing uses of those works. The classes of works that I
designated in the previous proceeding expire at the end of the current
proceeding unless proponents of a class prove their case once again.

This is the fourth time that I have made such a determination. Today I
have designated six classes of works. Persons who circumvent access
controls in order to engage in noninfringing uses of works in these
six classes will not be subject to the statutory prohibition against

As I have noted at the conclusion of past proceedings, it is important
to understand the purposes of this rulemaking, as stated in the law,
and the role I have in it. This is not a broad evaluation of the
successes or failures of the DMCA. The purpose of the proceeding is to
determine whether current technologies that control access to
copyrighted works are diminishing the ability of individuals to use
works in lawful, noninfringing ways. The DMCA does not forbid the act
of circumventing copy controls, and therefore this rulemaking
proceeding is not about technologies that control copying. Nor is this
rulemaking about the ability to make or distribute products or
services used for purposes of circumventing access controls, which are
governed by a different part of section 1201.

In this rulemaking, the Register of Copyrights received 19 initial
submissions proposing 25 classes of works, many of them duplicative in
subject matter, which the Register organized into 11 groups and
published in a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on the
proposed classes.  Fifty-six comments were submitted.  Thirty-seven
witnesses appeared during the four days of public hearings in
Washington and in Palo Alto, California. Transcripts of the hearings,
copies of all of the comments, and copies of other information
received by the Register have been posted on the Copyright Office's

The six classes of works are:

(1)  Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and
that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention
is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of
short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of
criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention
believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention
is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following

(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by
college and university film and media studies students;

(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos

(2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to
execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for
the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications,
when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the
telephone handset.

(3) Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that
enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless
telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the
owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect
to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is
authorized by the operator of the network.

(4) Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by
technological protection measures that control access to lawfully
obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the
purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting
security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:

(i) The information derived from the security testing is used
primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a
computer, computer system, or computer network; and
(ii) The information derived from the security testing is used or
maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement
or a violation of applicable law.

(5) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to
malfunction or damage and which are obsolete.  A dongle shall be
considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a
replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the
commercial marketplace; and

(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook
editions of the work (including digital text editions made available
by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the
enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen
readers that render the text into a specialized format.

All of these classes of works find their origins in classes that I
designated at the conclusion of the previous rulemaking proceeding,
but some of the classes have changed due to differences in the facts
and arguments presented in the current proceeding.  For example, in
the previous proceeding I designated a class that enable film and
media studies professors to engage in the noninfringing activity of
making compilations of film clips for classroom instruction.  In the
current proceeding, the record supported an expansion of that class to
enable the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into
documentary films and noncommercial videos for the purpose of
criticism or comment, when the person engaging in circumvention
reasonably believes that it is necessary to fulfill that purpose.  I
agree with the Register that the record demonstrates that it is
sometimes necessary to circumvent access controls on DVDs in order to
make these kinds of fair uses of short portions of motion pictures.


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