The DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act has essentially removed the concept of “fair use” from consideration when using digital assets. The implications of this restriction, coupled with the 1998 Copyright Extension Act, for libraries and schools are horrific. This Business Week article about Brewster Kahle’s efforts to expand the Internet Archive reveals the problems of excessive copyright limitations. (Kahle filed an amica curiae brief in support of Eldred.) U.S. Representative (Virginia) Rick Boucher explains better than I can why the DMCA act serves to stifle the exchange of information. The idea of restricting users ability to copy media they have legally purchased for personal use is not even technically sound. John “maddog” Hall, of Linux International, offers a reasonable solution: “fix the DMCA, then enforce the laws we have already,” pointing out that “We’re not all criminals.”
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