Ma Bell Would Be Proud Of The DMCA

from the good-analogy dept

Lauren Weinstein’s latest column for Wired News compares the current (mis)uses of the DMCA to the way AT&T used to control your phone. It really wasn’t that long ago that you needed to buy your phone from AT&T, and they had to come do the “insallation and maintenance” of the phone. You weren’t even allowed to attach a shoulder rest or any other modification to the phone. This is the same sort of thing that the DMCA allows, with its anti-circumvention clause. It’s already being used in this manner by Lexmark, who doesn’t want you to buy ink cartridges from anyone else but themselves. Just a reminder that many companies aren’t using the DMCA to “protect” anything other than their competitive position in the marketplace. It’s not good for consumers, and it’s not good for the economy. It’s just good for that particular company.

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