[Fsfe-ie] EU direcitves being rushed into Ireland before presidency
ian at locut.us
Wed Dec 10 17:09:37 CET 2003
Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> It defines a "protection defeating device" as being one "which has only
> a limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to
> circumvent any rights protection measure"
There is another dangerous ambiguity here. What if the device's purpose
is to "circumvent any rights protection measure" for the purpose of
allowing fair use/dealing?
The ambiguity is whether the device "circumvent[s] any rights protection
measure" as a means to an end, or an end in itself.
One interpretation is that a device where the circumvention is an end in
itself is prohibited, but a device which employs circumvention as a
means to an end is not.
The second interpretation is that a device is only permitted if it has
uses which don't involve circumvention at all.
Under interpretation #1 decss would be ok because we could argue that it
permits circumvention for the purpose of allowing users to play
legitimately purchased DVDs on Linux.
Under interpretation #2 the only example of something that would be
protected might be one of those black marker pens which people were
using to remove the DRM from CDs, since a black marker clearly has uses
which don't involve circumvention.
Interpretation #1 is good for us, but renders this clause largely
useless for the copyright industry.
Interpretation #2 is completely useless for us unless we credibly
believed that the EUCD might be used to go around banning black marker pens.
A rewording to address this problem might be:
> "which has only a limited commercially significant purpose or use
> other than to circumvent a rights protection measure to facilitate the
> infringement of copyright law"
This excludes devices which allow the user to circumvent the rights
protection measure to exercise their fair use/dealing rights.
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