Public Floods Copyright Office With Fair Use Requests
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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says it helped 245 consumers submit comments to the Librarian of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office requesting protection for certain ordinary uses of CDs and DVDs. The consumer comments support the EFF's Dec. 18 request to the government to grant four exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in order to permit bypassing of certain technological protection measures for copyrighted works.
Currently, the DMCA prevents users from making the following four uses of some digital media: listening to copy-protected music CDs on certain stereos and personal computers; viewing foreign movies on DVDs on U.S. players due to region-coding restrictions; skipping through commercials on some movie DVDs; and viewing and making fair uses of movies that are in the public domain and released on encrypted DVDs.
"The large number of comments reflects consumers' growing concerns about the DMCA and the very real impact that the law has on their lives," said EFF Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze.
The consumer comments described their difficulties with the DMCA's ban on bypassing technological locks on copy-protected music CDs and movies released on DVD:
"These EFF-inspired comments alone count for more than the total number of comments the Copyright Office received during the previous rulemaking in 2000," added EFF activist Ren Bucholz. "We're hopeful that the Copyright Office will listen to the growing public voice demanding reasonable uses of their own CDs and DVDs."