Digital Rights at Stake

The federal Copyright Office is holding hearings tomorrow and Friday at Stanford University on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s onerous provision banning the use of any technology that can be used to circumvent copy protections on digital materials. The intellectual-property industry is using this provision to ban “fair use” — including your fundamental right to make copies for personal use of material you’ve purchased. The circumvention section doesn’t take effect until October pending these hearings on what material, if any, should be temporarily exempted.

Just about every organization with the slightest sense of the public good, including libraries, opposes this outrageous law and is appalled by the far-reaching nature of the anti-circumvention provision. A protest will take place before the hearing. I urge you to join it if you have the time.

More on Microsoft’s Limited Memory

Our favorite monopolist has gone on a PR and legal rampage following government’s proposed breakup of the company. Microsoft’s courtroom response was the usual in-your-face stuff. Then Time magazine landed a poor-widdle-Microsoft column by Bill Gates. Now it’s Newsweek’s turn with Steve Ballmer, who whines about the unfairness of it all. Whoever wrote these pieces didn’t do much homework.

John Wharton, a longtime technology pro, notes some of the company’s more flagrant misrepresentations in this note.

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