Techdirt Podcast Episode 43: Why Do We Let An 86 Year Old Librarian Decide Who's Allowed To Innovate?

from the circumventing-anti-circumvention dept

One of the many strange and problematic features of modern copyright law is the DMCA anti-circumvention exception system, wherein the Librarian of Congress makes unilateral decisions about what you can and can’t do with software and products that include DRM and other protections. This week we’re joined by Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit and a long-time champion of the right to repair and tinker, to discuss the ins and outs of this system, and what is (or isn’t) coming in the next round of exemptions.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 43: Why Do We Let An 86 Year Old Librarian Decide Who's Allowed To Innovate?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s clearly an attack. Why else put it in the title? The implication is that he’s too old to be deciding “who’s allowed to innovate.” It ridiculous, disrespectful, and ageist. It’s sadly just another example of Techdirt attacking the person and not the merits of what the person says and does.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Kyle Wiens called it “copyright creep”, Mike said that someone else calls it “copyright immigration”. Why not simply call it what it is: a “get out of competition free card”. That’s what it’s truly about: abusing DRM to ensure that competitors are locked out of being able to service equipment you produced.

If the farmers never agreed to share their data with John Deere, how is what they are doing not illegal (and highly actionable!) industrial espionage?

Mike said, “it’s very tough to explain the innovations you don’t have yet.” This brings to mind something Henry Ford once said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Kyle says, “I’m kind of wondering if this [won’t be] the last triennial review.” Let’s hope so! Hopefully because somewhere within the next 3 years, the DMCA will be repealed.

WRT international obligations, every time someone brings this up I always wonder, why is it that it’s so easy to enter into a bad treaty, but you never hear of the country withdrawing from one?

M. Alan Thomas II (profile) says:

Wait, did you just claim that the Librarian of Congress is a librarian? Because outside of his misleading job title, he’s not. He does not have the degree or work history or even values. Because he’s retiring in January, the ALA is currently trying to pressure Obama into appointing an actual librarian, but that’s not what we have now.

Anonymous Coward says:

What surprised me about this whole debate was how they think the networking community was going to be this great backer of ownership over copyright. Perhaps because I’m a network admin, I realize that while DevOps, has made great strides there’s still a lot of work to be done to create this open haven like the Open Compute project. Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Huawei, et al are not going to give up the ghost anytime soon and embrace a open platform. So while AWS, Google Compute, Open Stack, CloudStack, et al have these open APIs to create clouds, the underlying infrastructure is very priority still in most cases. Look at Raspberry Pi even with the Broadcom chipset, it’s still just insert this binary and don’t ask.

So I guess my point is, don’t expect anything overnight, which I don’t think anyone really does anyways…

LAquaker (profile) says:

ageing out

I applied to the US Army Chaplin’s program at 49, the oldest age allowed unless you’re Catholic. Go figure.

Hollywood’s ‘Assistant Director’ program tops out at 39.
The United Nations has a mandatory retirement age of 65,
US airline pilots are still fighting mandatory retirement at 60.

My father got a ‘Job’ at Northrup’s research center when he was 63… Northrup ‘laid him off’ when he turned 81.

Eilene Galloway, the woman that invented N.A.S.A. was still giving lectures on the peaceful use of space at 99 years old.

Henry Kissinger wrote the book ‘Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy’ in 1957 and is still the go-to man for who needs killing. like Dracula & Vlad the Impaler, Kissinger’s immortal.

Anonymous Coward says:

You buy it, you own it

I think that the DMCA reverse engineering should be null and void when you purchase a product, versus just buying something on lease.

If I buy a John Deere, I own it. If I buy a Blu-ray player, I own it. If I buy Windows X, I own it (well, it depends upon who you ask.)

Once you sell a product, that reverse engineering clause should be invalid.

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