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[dvd-discuss] Re: CSS licensing on manufacturers vs. consumers

On Wed, May 28, 2003 at 08:20:57PM -0400, Seth Johnson wrote:
> > http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2003/hearings/transcript-may15.pdf
> IP Justice, EFF and Ernest Miller laid out a lot of the key, essential
> points.  Most interesting of all to me was the interchange between Mary Beth
> Peters and Robin Gross on the licensing issue.  Peters clearly brings up the
> contention that circumvention involves license violations as if it were a
> bugbear issue and appears totally unprepared for Robin's clear statement
> that these "licenses" do not actually constitute contracts.

	I think there, Marybeth Peters was confusing shrinkwrap licenses
with the licensing terms of CSS for DVD players :

MS. PETERS: I had a question about this side of the aisle which had to
do with tethered DVDs or space shifting, those kind of things, which
appear at points to violate licenses.  I just wanted a comment on how
you view the various licenses that come attached with a lot of the
material in digital form.               ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

	She seems to have been thinking of the common "You don't own
this, you only license it" boilerplate, and under the impression that
applies to DVDs too. Note the spread of the idea that material in
digital format is necessarily "licensed". Good reply:

MS.  GROSS: [excerpt]
Consumers are not licensees.  Consumers do not -- are not parties to
any contract.  Their rights haven't been restricted legally in any
way.  The manufacturer of the DVD player and the technology company
may have license agreements between them but that's between them.

The consumer is not obligated to follow the agreements in their
contracts.  They are not a party to those agreements.  I'm a little
confused when you're saying overriding licenses.  People who aren't a
party to contracts aren't -- they are not overriding the contract.
They are simply not a party.  They are engaging in activity outside of
the scope of the license.

	So she's talking about any contracts binding the DVD player
manufactures who have licensed CSS.

	However, lest this point be misunderstood, I think it's clear
Robin Gross wasn't addressing whether shrinkwrap licenses were valid
contracts - that's an entirely different issue.

> There's a lot on this last day that's extremely good.  It's the longest
> transcript, but if you want to get a sense of the best stuff that got
> brought out in these hearings, that's the one to read.

	I still like my hearing best :-). I think it's got the most 
"(Laughter.)" moments.


MR. FINKELSTEIN: ... I would also like to say that, for all this talk
of the pornography sites, since they were blacklists, they are really
bad collections of pornography sites.  (Laughter.)

Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer  sethf@sethf.com  http://sethf.com
Anticensorware Investigations - http://sethf.com/anticensorware/
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/