Earlier this week I read a note on the Farber list titled, (DMCA) Digital Copyright Law Up for Challenge by Michelle Madigan, Medill News Service (originally published on Yahoo News). In her writing Michelle stated:
The Copyright Office is accepting comments on the law, which makes it
illegal to copy digital entertainment and imposes restrictions that
some users say violate their fair-use rights. A comment form is
available online and must be submitted by December 18.
Later in her article, Michelle posts some quotes by Seth Finkelstein, a computer programmer from Cambridge, Massachusetts who authored a successful exception to the law the last time it was open to review. He offers some advice to others who’d like to comment to the Copyright Office:
Finkelstein encourages individuals and businesses to take advantage of
the opportunity to voice their concerns about DMCA provisions. He
offers this advice: “You can’t argue ideology. The Copyright Office
has said over and over that they don’t want theoretical arguments.” Be specific and stick to the facts, he says.
Related to this, O’Reilly Network writer, Richard Koman, has created a special weblog to capture developments related to DMCA, copyright, patents/open source, etc. Richard has been following these stories for a couple of years and has interviewed many of the great minds who take issue with aspects of digital rights management.
Later this week, Tim O’Reilly is publishing an article on O’Reilly Network titled, Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution. In this piece Tim draws from his own lessons as a book publisher and talks about how some of these experiences may apply to the music and film publishing world.
Bottom line: We have a window of opportunity to influence digital copyright law. If you have an interest in this area, and I hope you do, please read some of this content and share your thoughts to those who can act on your behalf.