Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Court Slaps Down Lexmark For DMCA Misuse

from the going-a-bit-too-far dept

We've written in the past about the case of Lexmark against a company named Static Control that was trying to make competing ink cartridges that would work in Lexmark printers. Lexmark claimed that Static was violating the DMCA by circumventing the encryption used on their inkjet cartridges. While the lower court ruled in Lexmark's favor last year, today the Sixth Circuit reversed the ruling discussing in great detail how Lexmark was clearly abusing the intent of the DMCA for anti-competitive purposes, rather than to protect intellectual property. The court clearly understood the larger issues: "If we were to adopt Lexmark's reading of the statute, manufacturers could potentially create monopolies for replacement parts simply by using similar, but more creative, lock-out codes. Automobile manufacturers, for example, could control the entire market of replacement parts for their vehicles by including lock-out chips. Congress did not intend to allow the DMCA to be used offensively in this manner, but rather only sought to reach those who circumvented protective measures "for the purpose" of pirating works protected by the copyright statute."

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2004 @ 11:48am


    Can we get these guys to re-hear the BNetd case?

    The two seem remarkably close - including how Vivendi/Blizzard is seeking to block the development of a competing server and weilding the DMCA like the club it is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Cody, 27 Oct 2004 @ 12:44pm

      Re: DMCA

      It seems that it might boil down to the simple distinction that DCMA can only be used on virtual things (that can be stored as digital data), and not physical things like ink cartridges, auto parts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Evilbob, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:01pm

    Given Up

    Honestly guys, I've given up on the thought of having anything positive done within the next 10-15 years. I'm hoping once the old farts who don't understand how truly bad things like BNetd or Psystar or EULA or being able to making copies of stuff you bought for backup die out, we'll be able to get judges and lawyers who actually get it.

    Of course, there's the risk that the young 'uns will get indoctrinated by this crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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