In a rich submission to the Copyright Office [PDF] on behalf of the Library Copyright Alliance, Jonathan Band asks the Office to renew its rule allowing college professors and film and media students to decrypt DVDs for educational uses.
The submission is part of the administration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which created a new statutory protection for digital locks, also know as Digital Rights Management (DRM) or Technical Protection Measures (TPMs). Under the DMCA, it is against the law to crack a digital lock, even if you ultimately use the underlying work in a way that is perfectly legitimate. This gives copyright holders who sell their works in digital formats a kind of super-copyright; they can control their works in ways that copyright law ordinarily would not allow, blocking fair uses and educational uses that the law would otherwise allow, and even encourage.
Read Brandon Butler’s complete post. Informative and educational.