Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Two Quick Thoughts

Thought #1

Does re-coding or re-formatting a protected work onto different media or into a different format constitute a "derivative work" under the Copyright Act? I'm no copyright scholar, but I think the answer is no. I may expand on this later if it turns out to be important.

Thought #2

I think we've been stupid, very very stupid. The DVD CCA (Copy Control Association) has been very effective in portraying its Content Scrambling System as a copy protection mechanism. To my knowledge, no one has ever challenged this in court. As has been mentioned here and in many other places, it is not necessary to de-scramble the content to copy it.

Every DVD player in existence (past, present, and future) must copy the content to operate. CSS is not a copy protection mechanism. CSS is a way for the DVD CCA to control the design of consumer electronic devices and to reduce competition. CSS is also a mechanism to insure that the DVD CCA gets paid by every device manufacturer that uses the technology.

Here's the Ten Billion Dollar Question:
If CSS isn't a copy protection mechanism, how then does it qualify as a "protection measure" under the DMCA?