Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Good news on the free culture front
How often do we get to post good news on this issue. All too rarely, for sure. But, according to Fred von Lohmann at EFF DMCA reform is looking like a real possibility. I've been swamped with work lately and am feeling totally out of the loop on things right now-- millions of unread posts are piling up for me in Newsgator right now-- so I have no idea what kind of coverage this is getting out there or more details, but hope to dive into it soon.

But I'd say the majority of the subcommittee just wasn't buying the "sky will fall" stories being told by Big Content. Members repeatedly asked why it should be illegal to make a single back-up copy of a DVD. They asked why it should be illegal to edit a DVD you own to remove "smut." They asked whether this impasse was the product of the entertainment industry's failure to deploy new business models. And Rep. Davis went so far as to ask Larry Lessig whether we should be thinking about alternative systems that would compensate rightsholders without insisting on digital lockdown or mass prosecutions.

Today was a good day for fair use, for consumers, and for our nation's tradition of balance in copyright law. Stay tuned for more.

EFF: Deep LinksL H.R. 107 Comes to Life

Update Seth Finkelstein has more commentary on today's hearings as well as a number of links to others' posts here: Infothought: DMCRA hearing impressions. Nothing I've read in my quick skimming thus far is quite as ebullient as the first post I discuss above-- but still a glimmer of hope is better than none.


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