Newman, Jon O. EFF: Appellate Decision in Universal v. Reimerdes. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 22 November 2006. <http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/MPAA_DVD_cases/?f=20011128_ny_appeal_decision.html>.
This famous court case involved the publication of the "DeCSS" decryption program on the website 2600.com. "DeCSS" was designed to break through the CSS encryption on DVDs. The action of posting this program challenged the Digital Millenium Copyright Act which bans any measure of breaking through digital encryption, or any publication or distribution of any such measure. Eight film studios, including Universal, brought a suit against the operators of 2600.com, seeking to have "DeCSS" and any links to other sites containing it removed from 2600.com for violations of the DMCA.
The appeal challenged the constitutionality of the DMCA, claiming that it restricts free speech, and called for a narrow construction of its terms. They also claimed that "is rooted in and required by both the Copyright Clause and the First Amendment," and that the DMCA restricts this. However, the appeals court found no reasoning for these claims, and upheld an earlier injunction by a lower court requiring the removal of the "DeCSS" program and any links to it.
This case is extremely important because it establishes that arguments regarding fair use and free speech are almost no match for the terms of the DMCA. Were it not for the DMCA, I think it would definitely be easy to argue for my video project as a fair use; however, cases like this clearly state that this is no defense. The court states that there is no constitutional requirement for a fair use standard, and that such claims cannot supersede violations of anticircumvention laws.
Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF: Unintended Consequences: Seven Years Under the DMCA. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 28 November 2006. .
This article tracks the continued influence of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, specifically the "anti-circumvention" provisions of Section 1201, throughout its first seven years in effect. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that the DMCA has not been used as a method of blocking piracy and devices used to perpetrate it, as Congress intended it; instead, the DMCA has become a tool for big businesses to eliminate potential competition and a blockage to fair use, creativity and technological innovations. Because the DMCA "chills free expression and scientific research... jeopardizes fair use... impedes competition and innovation... [and] interferes with computer intrusion laws", the EFF argues that circumvention must be permissible. The article also contains an exhaustive list of court cases in which the DMCA has been a key factor.
Full knowledge of the restrictions of the DMCA and a general sense of the ways in which legislation has surrounded it is absolutely vital for the creation of my project; the essential goal of my project is to make a challenge to the DMCA and the restrictions that it has placed on artists, specifically in terms of digital video.