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[dvd-discuss] SCC/Lexmark, copyright, and DMCA
- To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: [dvd-discuss] SCC/Lexmark, copyright, and DMCA
- From: Seth Finkelstein <sethf(at)sethf.com>
- Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 05:08:54 -0500
- Reply-to: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
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OK, I paged through the decision. As I see it, there's two
1) Copyright infringement - SCC copied Lexmark's "Toner Loading Programs"
2) DMCA - and this is where things get interesting. The judge seems to say:
a) Computer programs are, in general, copyrightable works
b) Lexmark's "Toner Loading Programs" are copyrightable
c) Thus, having another program interact with Lexmark's program,
is drumroll ... circumventing *access* to a copyright work! Hello, DMCA.
Note points 1 and 2 are mostly orthogonal (though #1 is used
against SCC in #2, to help disallow the 1201(f) interoperability exemption).
Essentially, the judge has ruled that "interoperate" is a
subset of "access"! And then tossed the 1201(f) interoperability
exemption. That reminds me of the "use-a-gun" case, where the court
ruled bartering the gun was a "use".
But this is a DMCA 1201(a)(2) ("trafficking") problem, since the
microchips are "devices". So even if the Copyright Office granted the
request, it wouldn't do SCC immediate good (though they might then be
situated to take to court the fabled argument that right-to-do should
Seth Finkelstein Consulting Programmer firstname.lastname@example.org http://sethf.com
Anticensorware Investigations - http://sethf.com/anticensorware/
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/