[Fsfe-ie] EU direcitves being rushed into Ireland before presidency

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Wed Dec 10 18:21:19 CET 2003

David O'Callaghan wrote:
> On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 16:09, Ian Clarke wrote:
>>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?
> Perhaps I'm being naïve, but this seems to be covered by the following:
>         5. The Act of 2000 is amended by substituting for section 374
>         the following:
>         Rights Protection Measures and Permitted Acts
>         “(1) Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as operating to
>         prevent any person from undertaking the acts permitted -
>         (a) in relation to works protected by copyright under Chapter 6
>         of Part II,
>         (b) in relation to performances, by Chapter 4  of Part III, or
>         (c) in relation to databases, by Chapter 8  of Part V.
>         (2) Where the beneficiary has legal access to the protected work
>         or subject-matter concerned, the rightsholder shall make
>         available to the beneficiary the means of benefitting from the
>         permitted act.
>         (3) In the event of a dispute arising, either party may apply to
>         the High Court for an order requiring a person to do or to
>         refrain from doing anything the doing or refraining from doing
>         of which is necessary to ensure compliance by that person with
>         the provisions of these Regulations.”.
> I haven't followed the references but this suggests to me that the
> permitted acts that a person may perform cannot be arbitrarily denied by
> rights protection measures. 
> But, perhaps a film studio would claim that I don't have a legal right
> to watch the contents of a region 1 (American) DVD on a region 2
> (European) player because I implicitly agreed to their licensing terms
> when buying the DVD. 

Also, you may not be legally licensed to play a game written for console 
X on a modded-for-the-purpose console Y  -- or to play a DVD on a 
linux-based OS.

The notion of "legal access to the protected work" is quite slippery, ie 
what you can or cannot infer you have an "implied licence" to do, and 
what presumed rights the content-owner is or is not allowed to withhold. 
  My suspicion is that the exact boundary has not yet been marked out by 
test-cases in court, and the EUCD/InfoSoc Directive pretty much 
sidesteps past the issue.

But that's just off the top of my head.

It's something that almost certainly *is* worth discussing with friendly 



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