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."