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DMCA created DRM nightmare

Cato Institute calls for law's repeal.
Wed Mar 22 2006, 06:27
CHANGES to Digital rights laws are directly responsible for problems that are caused by digital rights management (DRM) technology, a Libertarian think tank claims.

According to a report, penned by the Cato Institute, the 1998 DMCA law killed off a long history of the courts giving balanced remedies for the copyright challenges created by new technologies.

However the DCMA has cut the courts out of this role and instead banned any devices that "circumvent", which control access to copyrighted content.

The report said that the law has created a legal regime that reduces options and competition in how consumers enjoy media and entertainment.

"Today, the copyright industry is exerting increasing control over playback devices, cable media offerings, and even Internet streaming. Some firms have used the DMCA to thwart competition by preventing research and reverse engineering. Others have brought the weight of criminal sanctions to bear against critics, competitors, and researchers," the report said.

It says that the DMCA is anti-competitive because it gives copyright holders, and the technology companies that distribute their conten, the power to install clumsy and ineffective systems to protect them.

The Institute said that the only way to sort the matter out is to repeal the DMCA.

You can read the full report here. µ


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