Free as in Freedom

A bi-weekly discussion of legal, policy, and other issues in the open source and software freedom community (including occasional interviews) from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Presented by Karen Sandler and Bradley M. Kuhn.


0x6B: GPL Enforcement Investigation DMCA Exemption Request

Software Freedom Conservancy filed multiple exemptions in the USA Copyright Office Triennial Rulemaking Process under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In this episode, Karen and Bradley explore the details of Conservancy's filing to request permission to circumvent technological restriction measures in order to investigate infringement of other people's copyright, which is a necessary part of investigations of alleged violations of the GPL and other copyleft licenses.

Show Notes:Segment 0 (00:39)
  • Bradley claims that you'll now love the audcast more than ever (02:51)
  • Conservancy filed many exemptions as part of the currently ongoing triennial DMCA Process. (02:50)
Segment 1 (04:22)
  • Everyone in the Free Software community wishes the USA's Digital Millennium Copyright Act didn't exist. (05:24)
  • Bradley is currently doing research going to the year 1790 that shows the foundations of the copyright act, but Karen points out that Bradley isn't a professional copyright historian (yet). He points out heis an amateur copyright historian (05:45)
  • DMCA is the USA's implementation of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), but is more a restrictive copyright act than the WCT requires. (06:50)
  • Bradley mentioned that the three videos from the Copyright Office,which are linked to from Conservancy's blog post on the subject that, while they are Copyright Office propaganda, that are helpful to explain the DMCA (10:57):
    • A Legal Overview of § 1201 (PDF slides only).
    • The Triennial Rulemaking Process for §1201 (PDF slides only).
    • Streamlined Petitions for Renewed Exemptions (PDF slides only).
  • Conservancy filed the most exemption requests in the 2020/2021 Rulemaking Process (21:25)
Segment 2 (28:07)
  • Conservancy filed an exemption request and a “Long Form” comment in support of it that was labeled“Class 16: Computer Programs &—; Copyright License Investigation” by the Copyright Office (29:00)
  • Bradley mentioned that people can get arrested just for giving talks under the DMCA, referring to Dmitry Sklyarov. Adobe simply called the FBI and got him arrested under DMCA. (38:50)
Segment 3 (34:36)

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Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch of Theme music written and performed by Mike Tarantino with Charlie Paxson on drums.

The content of this audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).


 2021-01-14  51m