Giant Robots, Circumvention, and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act
StorageTek v. CHE, a technical talk by Christian Hicks, Elysium Digital
Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 6:30 PM
Maxwell-Dworkin 119 (upstairs)
Buffet Dinner Provided by Elysium Digital. This talk was co-sponsored by the Berkman Cyberlaw Clinic, the Harvard Computer Society, and the Harvard Law School Journal of Law and Technology.
Computer Scientist, Christian Hicks, has worked as a technology litigation consultant at Elysium Digital in Cambridge for over 10 years. He will present the case, StorageTek v. CHE. In this case, Storage Technology Corporation (also known as StorageTek), sued defendant, Custom Hardware Engineering & Consulting INC. ("CHE") for copyright infringement resulting from the maintenance and repair of
Storage Technologies' data tape storage components. The repair and maintenance required that CHE make copies of maintenance software in the machines and crack an access code. The parties disputed the applicability of section 117(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which provides a safe harbor for copying of software for maintenance or repair. Christian will provide the background and context for this case. He will discuss anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA as well as the broad applications of DMCA anti-circumvention. Prior important DMCA-limiting cases such as Skylink v. Chamberlain and Lexmark v. Static Control will also be reviewed. Christian will present the StorageTek Silo Systems and CHE's devices and methods. He will detail the Federal Circuit court's opinion and discuss the many implications which arose from the ruling. Mr. Hicks will end his talk with lessons for potential circumventors and copyright holders as well as questions of permanent copyright.
Mr. Hicks first began his career in technology consulting for the legal industry when he was retained by Princeton University Professor
Edward Felten, to help in his work for the Department of Justice's antitrust case against Microsoft.