Finally, a victory for fair use
July 26, 2010
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Probably no point in pontificating about this, but wanted to share the good news (since the mass media isn’t likely to pick up on this one very much/at all): Today the Library of Congress put into place three new exemptions to the Digital Milennium Copyright Act. By law, they get to seek out opinions and take suggestions every few years, and this time around the EFF won. The key new exemptions are:
- People can now legally jailbreak/root their smartphones (though the carriers/manufacturers can still make it hard for people to do so)
- Clips of DVDs or other copy-protected media can now be used as part of new works (i.e. video remixes on YouTube).
- Educators can now circumvent copy protection on media for classroom/educational use (i.e. putting a clip from a movie into a PowerPoint presentation).
The EFF is also touting the LoC’s decision to make legal the unlocking of cell phones so that they can be used on other carriers, but this isn’t a new ruling — it was announced back in 2006, and was simply reiterated this time around (likely since it ties in with jailbreaking/rooting).
So, this means that either the folks at the LoC have their heads screwed on straight, or the EFF scrounged up enough money to buy them off. Let’s hope it’s the former.