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Tuesday 5 June 2012 Library of Congress: Argument before the Register of
Tuesday 5 June 2012 Library of Congress: Argument before the Register of Copyrights For and Against the Right of Private Ownership of a Computer
4 Jun 2012 15:42:34 -0400
In Washington DC on Tuesday 5 June 2012 at 1:30 pm in the
Jefferson Building, there will be a discussion of Proposed
Exemption 4 to the "Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright
Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies" which
prohibition is a part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Here is the page for the Jefferson Building of the Library of
Every three years citizens of the United States argue for
exemptions to the ridiculous "Prohibition on Circumvention of
Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies",
which prohibition is a part of the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act, the DMCA for short.
If enforced, the "Prohibition on Circum..." ah, let us call it
the Anti-Circumvention Clause of the DMCA, would give to Apple the
power to bring a legal action which might result in jail time for
some of the millions of people in the USA who today have root on
the iPhones and iPads they use. And this month, for the first
time, Microsoft, in partnership with Dell, HP, and Lenovo, will
be in the same legal position as Apple: Microsoft has arranged
that all Microsoft Certified Home Computers will only boot an
Officially Approved-by-Microsoft Operating System. Under the
Anti-Circumvention Clause of the DMCA getting root on an Microsoft
Certified Home Computer will be a federal crime, punishable by
imprisonment. (There may be a small exception to this: if you get
root on the box by yourself, with no one else's help, and you do
not publish information about your work, getting root may be
allowed. In practice such engineering work is always a joint
work of several, often, many people, and the results of such
work, that is, the method to get root, is published.)
The situation is not without hope. Congress at the passage of
the DMCA feared that the Anti-Circumvention Clause would grant
unjust powers to large malign entities such as Apple, Microsoft,
and Sony. So Congress asked the Librarian of Congress to look at
the Anti-Circumvention Clause every three years, and issue formal
legal Exemptions to the list of prohibited actions. The Register
of Copyrights, in cooperation with the Commerce Department, asks
citizens to propose Exemptions to the Anti-Circumvention Clause.
Then, after public comment and discussion, the Register of
Copyrights makes a recommendation to the Librarian of
Congress, who decides which Proposed Exemptions will be granted.
The 5 June 2012 meeting in Washington is part of this process of
proposing, commenting on, and discussing possible Exemptions to
the Anti-Circumvention Clause.
New Yorkers for Fair Use, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and
The Software Freedom Law Center will argue that we should keep
our right to own a computer.
The Joint Creators and Copyright Owners Organization and the
Motion Picture Association of America will argue that we should,
by enforcement without exemption, of the Anti-Circumvention
Clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, extinguish our
right to own a computer.
Below my signature are some pointers to information about the
Anti-Circumvention Clause and about Palladium, the new, and now
deployed, serious hardware and software system designed to keep
root in the hands of Apple, for Apple devices, and Microsoft for
Microsoft Certified hardware, and Sony, for Sony devices.
If Palladium is forced into all computing devices, then with the
backing of the Anti-Circumvention Clause of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act, it will be, in the United States of
America, a crime to own a home computer.
Come on down to the Jefferson Building on Tuesday 5 June 2012 and
sit and stand in support of our right to own a computer.
Jay Sulzberger <address@hidden>
Corresponding Secretary LXNY
LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.
Wikipedia article on the DMCA:
[page was last modified on 1 June 2012 at 02:38]
Neither Apple nor Microsoft have as yet invoked the
Anti-Circumvention Clause of the DMCA. But Sony has, against
GeoHot, owner-operator of a Sony device, and a serious hacker:
[page was last modified on 31 March 2012 at 22:08]
Explanation of DRM:
[from 2003, still accurate]
Explanation of Palladium:
[from 2003, therefore out of date with regard to immediate tactical
situation; accurate as to what Palladium, now called "secure boot", is;
present tactical situation worse, Palladium is in every Microsoft Certified
Computer today, it is also in all iPhones and iPads]
what="What precisely will be discussed at the 1:30 pm
Tuesday 5 June 2012 meeting">
Proposed Exemption 4 was proposed by the Software Freedom Law Center.
Here is the summary of 4:
Computer programs that enable the installation and execution of
lawfully obtained software on a personal computing device, where
circumvention is performed by or at the request of the device's
from the list of all Proposed Exemptions at
The complete full text of the Proposed Exemption 4 is at
The proposal is long and thorough in its argument and its citations.
The comments on all the Proposed Exemptions may be seen at
New Yorkers for Fair Use's plea in favor of
Proposed Exemption 4 is at
We are in good company. Bunnie Huang's comment is at
And Bunnie is joined by 25,000 people in his second comment:
On the panel, our side is strong. In addition to Brett Wynkoop
and Jay Sulzberger of New Yorkers for Fair Use, we've got
Aaron Williamson, of the Software Freedom Law Center, and
Marcia Hoffman, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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