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EFF "Intellectual Property: Digital Rights Management (DRM) Systems & Copy-Protection Schemes" Archive

Last Updated Wed Mar 28 13:25:10 PDT 2001

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Directory of information on the proposed Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM) system, a scheme under which computer hardware vendors would build "copy protection" into all hard drives and other computer data storage devices.
Information on criminal prosecutions and investigations relating to the DeCSS DVD decoder (incl. the Jon Johansen case, Norway, 2000).
Directory of information on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (a.k.a. WIPO copyright treaty implementation bill), 1998-2000 The DMCA gives intellectual property holders the right to take away the fair use and related rights of the public to protect a commercial "digital rights management" scheme, and interferes with the legitimate operation of peer-to-peer file sharing systems. DMCA is probably unconstitutional.
DVD Content Control Association's court case attempting to censor and punish people for reverse-engineering the encryption system used for decoding content on Digital Versatile Discs (mislabeled Digital Video Discs by the DVD CCA organization). DVD CCA boldly and unbelievably alleges that efforts to make DVDs interoperable with the open-source Linux operating system, via the "DeCSS" software at issue in the case, violates movie industry trade secrets under Calif. law. See also the related MPAA DVD cases (below).
directory of information on intellectual property vs. fair use disputes regarding HDTV, DTV and other high-definition and/or digital television standards. HDTV in the US is now threatened by a movie industry scheme to force manufacturers to build in a DRM system - one that will obsolete every existing US HDTV set and render them unable to view new HDTV broadcasts.
The Cyber Patrol case - Microsystems (and Mattel) sue two foreign ISPs and two Web site authors under bogus copyright and trade secret claims in an attempt to silence critics who have decrypted the Cyber Patrol censorware's blacklist to show that it wrongly blocks out non-prographic material. Microsystems is attempting to abuse the law to protect their crude and useless encryption (a weak DRM system) from legitimate reverse engineering.
Motion Picture Association of America members (major movie studios) and their lawsuits against a variety of parties making the DeCSS DVD encryption decoder available for download (software that enables legally-owed Digital Versatile Disc audiovisual content to be played on the open-source Linux operating system). The MPAA members make incredible claims of illegal circumvention of copy protection measures (weak DVD encryption that was reverse engineered in the creation of DeCSS), basing these claims on unconstitutional provisions of the 1999 Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). See also the related DVD CCA case, above.
Directory of info on the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) trade association, and their draft standard for a "Digital Music Access Technology" (DMAT) copy protection with does anything but provide or enhance access to digital music. Instead it would esentially end all fair use right in the mainstream music world. DMAT is the draft DRM intended to be used with all future mainstream music industry releases.
Information on the (draft, as of 1999 to early 2000) Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), formerly known as the draft Uniform Commercial Code Article 2B (UCC2B), proposed and adopted by the unaccountable quasi-governmental body known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). UCITA, which could soon by adopted by most or all US state legislatures, is an anti-individual, anti-artist, anti-fair-use copyright law that would benefit only large corporate intellectual property holders, especially in the entertainment and software industries. UCITA relates to DRM in that it will can be used (even if the DMCA is ruled unconstitutional) to prevent reverse engineering of DRM systems by forbidding such activity in license "agreements".

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