Posted Jul 17, 2004 10:55 UTC (Sat) by Duncan
In reply to: Reverse engineering?
Parent article: DMCA fun from StorageTek
> So if the DMCA holds here then does
> reverse engineering come illegal in the US?
IANAL and all that, but no, as I understand from what I've read, it can't
"become" illegal, because the terms of the DMCA specifically and directly
define it AS illegal already, within the scope of subverting "encryption"
with the purpose of "access protection". That isn't disputed, it's in the
law (altho the rightness of the law is certainly disputed).
The court cases have turned on the definition of "encryption" and "access
protection". Unfortunately, the terms have been interpreted rather
broadly, such that virtually anything not in plainest possible format is
encryption, and anything not specifically licenced by the rights holder is
violation of the "access protection". Thus, for example, a mechanism
documented to have originally been included for data compression purposes
could conceivably be validly claimed to be "encrytion for the purpose of
access protection" as well.
Unfortunately, that's where we're at, and why the DMCA is so despised by
technical people everywhere.
I intend to follow up with a more political analysis of the situation IMO,
so fair warning to those that don't like such things, to skip it.
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