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DMCA needs drastic overhaul

A News.com reader writes that the DMCA's provisions prevent everyone from exercising long-recognized rights of "fair use" at the whim of any publisher.

     

      
    DMCA needs drastic overhaul

    In response to the Oct. 10 column by Doug Isenberg, "The 'other' DMCA":

    How can Isenberg honestly defend the DMCA? Its provisions prevent everyone (including journalists) from exercising long-recognized rights of "fair use" at the whim of any publisher.

    Under the DMCA: CNET cannot publish a negative benchmark of Microsoft products without permission (what are the odds of that?); I can be forbidden from making a personal copy of a CD or movie; and I can be imprisoned for breaking "copy protection" devices of such astounding strength as a ROT13.

    If there are parts of the DMCA worth saving, they should be bundled together into a new law that could be passed to replace this sadly flawed example of the power of lobbying.

    Eric Johnson
    Omaha, Neb.