Copyright laws are hurting

Yet another article on how the DMCA hurts technology, by CNET:

[...] current laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)--which makes cracking copyright protections illegal, even when otherwise acceptable under other laws--are serving the extremes, not the mainstream populace."

There has to be a way between the lunatics at the two extremes," said Larry Lessig, a law professor at Stanford University and well-known opponent of the DMCA. "We need to build a layer of reasonable copyright law on top of this background of unreasonable extremism."

Pr. Lessig has moved on since he lost the Eldred case by positively claiming that what comes next is more important that present laws. What is interesting is that more and more groups are fighting against the DMCA and consorts, and those groups include companies in addition to lawyers, technologists and academics.

Meanwhile in Europe, the equivalent and similarly controversial EUCD is having some difficult time. Finland has rejected it while pro-content producers are arguing that it is not good enough because it does not provide sanctions against individuals would download music for noncommercial use. Indeed, the preamble of the EUCD explicitly says:

(31) A fair balance of rights and interests between the different categories of rightholders, as well as between the different categories of rightholders and users of protected subject-matter must be safeguarded.

It will be very interesting to follow the developments of all those property-related laws in Europe. Any discrepancy between the US and Europe copyright laws will have the potential to weaken the other, and that may give time for introducing some common sense into this mess.

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