[LINK] Now there's a turn up for the books...
ivan at itrundle.com
Fri Dec 1 22:37:41 AEDT 2006
(sorry about the deliberate pun - el Reg are usually more inventive
than the headline that they chose, so I improvised):
Internet Archive wins copyright reprieve [Can now store old computer
games and software]
Published Friday 1st December 2006 10:35 GMT
The Internet Archive project has won an exemption from US copyright
law, overcoming an obstacle which threatened the entire work of the
not-for-profit group. It can now host copies of obsolete computer
games and software without fear of prosecution.
The Library of Congress has published six exemptions to the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act, which criminalises duplication of material
copyrighted to someone else. The exemption is from punishment for
breaking the kinds of copy controls on material which are designed to
stop unauthorised duplication.
One of the six exemptions is for computer software or games for the
purposes of preservation, but only if the original machine, format or
technology involved is obsolete.
The ruling grants exemption to "computer programs and video games
distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the
original media or hardware as a condition of access, when
circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or
archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or
"A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system
necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no
longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the
commercial marketplace," it says.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit project started in 1996 to
create a complete record of the increasing amounts of digital
information being created as the internet developed. It now archives
20 terabytes of data a month and has two petabytes (two million
gigabytes) of data stored in it.
The Library of Congress's other exemptions to the DCMA include
permission for users of mobile phones to circumvent the technology
which makes the phone only work with one network. Another exemption
allows the duplication of "dongle protected" software where the
dongle has been damaged and a replacement is no longer available.
Another exemption allows educational establishments to "break"
digital rights management (DRM) technology for audiovisual works to
be used by media studies or film classes, while another exemption
that allows users to bypass DRM on CDs in order to test and fix DRM
technology which might damage the user's computer.
"Thanks to the hard work of two great law school students of Peter
Jaszi of American University, Jieun Kim and Doug Agopsowicz, the
Internet Archive and other libraries may continue to preserve
software and video game titles without fear of going to jail," said a
statement from the Internet Archive.
"This is a happy moment, but on the other hand this exception is so
limited it leaves the overall draconian nature of the DMCA in
effect," said the statement. "A total of more than $50,000 of pro-
bono lawyer time has been spent to just affect this exemption and its
continuation. We hope that Congress, and other governments, will pass
more balanced copyright laws to allow at least libraries, archives,
research and scholarship to flourish without the current dark clouds
The British Library has been involved in similar lobbying and wants
copyright law to change so that it can store digital material without
breaking the law. It has sent its copyright reform manifesto to the
Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com
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