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RE: A thought about H.R. 2281 - Anti circumvention

On Thu, 4 Jun 1998, Rick Anderson wrote:
> 	Doesn't current copyright law exist to protect all information
> (digital or otherwise) both before and after it's been distributed?  

Yes it does but the copyright owner has a limited bundle of rights. A
legal right to control who can access a work once the work has been
distributed is not one of them.  As you described, 2281 creates a new
right to control post-sale access. 

> And if a digital book is sold with the understanding that it will only be read
> twice before it self-destructs, it sounds to me like what you've got is a
> rental agreement, not a purchase. 

Just because the technology will prevent you from reading the book a third
time doesn't mean that you entered into a contractual agreement not to
read the book a third time.  But I agree that as a practical matter the
technology can create what seems like a rental situation. 
Imagine if all information were "rented" in this way and never purchased
outright. The first-sale doctrine which enables the used book market,
sharing of books between friends and family, and donations of books to
libraries would be moot.  Uee of resources in libraries would be tracked
in detail by the publishers enabling a per-use fee structure. Or the
library patron number 3 would be out of luck because the library only paid
for "two reads" of the book she wanted to look at.  Archiving would be
impossible (or extremely expensive). 

Is that the sort of world that the technical protection systems are
leading us to?  I think yes and I think that the "access control right" in
2281 would bring us there faster and with no leeway for "fair use" 

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