Court Says DMCA Can Be Used To Block Add-On Innovation
from the misunderstanding-copyrights dept
Exactly 11 months ago, we wrote about a bad district court ruling in the Blizzard v. BnetD case -- where some programmers had reverse engineered a gaming server for legitimate owners of a game in order to play online without dealing with any of the problems the official server was having, and to offer additional features. The District Court ruling had some odd language in it, including saying that the action was a "circumvention of copyright" -- something that we still don't quite understand. We knew the case would be appealed, and we hoped that the Appeals Court would understand the issues a bit better, but apparently that was too much to hope for. The court has ruled against the programmers, and basically said that the DMCA can be used to block out any kind of add-on innovation. As some are noting, this seems to go directly against what the backers of the DMCA originally claimed about it: that it would protect copyrights without harming innovation. It's hard to see what this has to do with protecting copyrights however. Of course, given other recent rulings that seem to limit mis-use of the DMCA, perhaps some will finally realize that the law needs something of a rewrite.