by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 17th 2010 8:50pm
Every few years the US Copyright Office is supposed to review requests for exemptions to the DMCA. However, it rarely gives any serious exemptions. In fact, the process is such a joke that some have argued it's not worth participating in at all. None of the exemptions have ever favored consumers. They've always been extremely narrow. So, while it's nice that documentary filmmakers are asking for a DMCA exemption from the anti-circumvention clause so that they can get around the digital locks on movies for legal (non-infringing) uses of clips in their documentaries. As they say: "If you want to use material pursuant to fair use, you have to commit crime despite your constitutional right to do so." However, given the way the US Copyright Office tends to view these things, I find it highly unlikely it will allow this.
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