View Full Version : Copyright laws getting a second look

Nov 20, 2002, 04:28 PM
Foes of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have a second chance to tweak a section of the controversial law.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Copyright Office began accepting comments from the public on the law's "anticircumvention" section, which limits people's ability to bypass copy-protection mechanisms. Comments are due by Dec. 18.

When enacting the DMCA in 1998, Congress ordered the Copyright Office to conduct regular reviews of one portion of the law. The Librarian of Congress, who oversees the Copyright Office, may exempt specific groups from being covered by part of the DMCA.

In October 2000, two exemptions were set: Filtering researchers could study blacklisting techniques, and obsolete copy-protection schemes could be legally bypassed. Those exemptions expire in October 2003.

WASHINGTON--U.S. Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner, one of America's most prominent jurists, warned Tuesday of an "enormous expansion" of intellectual-property law, adding a conservative voice to a chorus of criticism that's so far come from the left.

During a lecture organized by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution., Posner criticized a 1998 law extending the duration of U.S. copyrights. He also attacked the Patent and Trademark Office for granting "very questionable" business method patents.

"These rights keep expanding without any solid information about why they're socially beneficial," Posner said. "At the same time that regulations are diminishing, intellectual-property rights are blossoming--(two) opposite trends bucking each other." (http://news.com.com/2100-1023-966595.html?tag=fd_top)

Nov 21, 2002, 08:55 AM
I've not always agreed with him, but you've got to love Jd. Posner.