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Old 01-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #46
JLYates
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If it is "illegal" to remove DRM, then why is it legal to sell software that helps it to be removed?

I was searching for info about DRM and the stripping of it and found a site that offers, for $25, a software that will strip the DRM. I would think that if it was illegal, then they could not sell the software. Of course, it is legal to sell items that make guns more dangerous but not legal to use them, but still it seems kinda stupid to say you can't do it but here is the tools you need to do it.

I'm sorry, but when I buy a book that is DRM'd, and I can't read it because somene put a lock on it, then I see it as stealing from me!
I don't see it as any different than if I went to a car dealership and pay cash for a car. I am given the title and make arrangement to pick it up the next day. When I arrive to get my car I find out they have changed the lock and I can't get in and drive my car home. They refuse to give me the keys to unlock it but yet tell me the car is mine!

Who is stealing from whom ?

It seems we are in the same postion that readers were years ago when it was taken to court to determine if it was legal to sell used books. The publishers argued that it shouldn't be allowed. The court disagree and it became legal to sell books to a used book store and they could then resell it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:15 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
If it is "illegal" to remove DRM, then why is it legal to sell software that helps it to be removed?

I was searching for info about DRM and the stripping of it and found a site that offers, for $25, a software that will strip the DRM. I would think that if it was illegal, then they could not sell the software. Of course, it is legal to sell items that make guns more dangerous but not legal to use them, but still it seems kinda stupid to say you can't do it but here is the tools you need to do it.

I'm sorry, but when I buy a book that is DRM'd, and I can't read it because somene put a lock on it, then I see it as stealing from me!
I don't see it as any different than if I went to a car dealership and pay cash for a car. I am given the title and make arrangement to pick it up the next day. When I arrive to get my car I find out they have changed the lock and I can't get in and drive my car home. They refuse to give me the keys to unlock it but yet tell me the car is mine!

Who is stealing from whom ?

It seems we are in the same postion that readers were years ago when it was taken to court to determine if it was legal to sell used books. The publishers argued that it shouldn't be allowed. The court disagree and it became legal to sell books to a used book store and they could then resell it.
Hi- I find it ironic that there's an ad right below your post selling software to remove DRM.

In any case, according to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, it is illegal to break the protection on a copyrighted work, like DVDs, and now digital books. That's the simple answer. If these e-books didn't have digital protection, they could be freely traded, and publishers and author's would be losing money for their work. Many of these software companies are off shore, from what I understand. Not being preachy about it, but it is what it is.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:24 PM   #48
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Please stop saying that removing DRM is illegal. It's not yet been tested in a court of law. So we do not know if DMCA trumps fair-use or fair-use trumps DMCA. So until then, it's a gray area. So do you know 100% that it is illegal? If you do, please cite where it was ruled illegal by a judge. If you can't, please stop saying it is illegal.
Sorry, it's illegal because the DMCA states it: "Highlights Generally:

· Makes it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial software.

· Outlaws the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy software." Full text: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...:H.R.2281.ENR:

Again, I'm not preaching, but I think it's important that people understand the law. As the old saying goes, ignorance of the law is no defense.

Edit: oops, I quoted "software" but if you read the full text, this covers copyrighted materials and everything else covered by the DMCA.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:44 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
I'm sorry, but when I buy a book that is DRM'd, and I can't read it because someone put a lock on it, then I see it as stealing from me!
Amen!

Though I think you're preaching to the choir here.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
I'm sorry, but when I buy a book that is DRM'd, and I can't read it because somene put a lock on it, then I see it as stealing from me!
I don't see it as any different than if I went to a car dealership and pay cash for a car. I am given the title and make arrangement to pick it up the next day. When I arrive to get my car I find out they have changed the lock and I can't get in and drive my car home. They refuse to give me the keys to unlock it but yet tell me the car is mine!
You're really only "locked out" because you don't have the proper key. The onus is on the buyer to have a proper reader, and not buy an e-book in the wrong format. Believe me, I know how you feel. I bought my first e-reader (The Cruz) only 3 days ago, and you can imagine my frustration at not being able to open a DRM protected book, despite Cruz advertising that it "supports epub." They may as well have advertised that it would make a good paperweight too, because it doesn't natively support epub books out of the box.

I'm kinda harping about the illegalities of breaking any encryption on a copyrighted work because I'm a moderator in a music forum, and the subject came up about decrypting a music DVD; I had to lock the thread down and explain why- then gave an extremely long explanation of the DMCA. Still members continued to raise arguments as to why they feel they should be able to, and, again, the short explanation is, the law says you can't.

If you're industrious enough, you can find ways to strip the DRM; but for me to explain how, would be against this forum's rules. I'm not judging, but I can't impress enough on people, if you do strip the DRM, you are, in fact, breaking the law. I'm just saying do so at your own risk. I'm not picking a fight; as I said before, it is what it is. But I understand the need for the protections of copyrighted works too. I think I should get out of moderator mode, as I'm just a regular member here.

Last edited by Killing Floor; 01-19-2011 at 09:22 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:36 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
If it is "illegal" to remove DRM, then why is it legal to sell software that helps it to be removed?

I was searching for info about DRM and the stripping of it and found a site that offers, for $25, a software that will strip the DRM. I would think that if it was illegal, then they could not sell the software. Of course, it is legal to sell items that make guns more dangerous but not legal to use them, but still it seems kinda stupid to say you can't do it but here is the tools you need to do it.
I believe the site you mention is based in Canada where it is not (currently) illegal to distribute DRM removal software.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killing Floor View Post
Sorry, it's illegal because the DMCA states it: "Highlights Generally:

· Makes it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial software.

· Outlaws the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy software." Full text: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...:H.R.2281.ENR:

Again, I'm not preaching, but I think it's important that people understand the law. As the old saying goes, ignorance of the law is no defense.

Edit: oops, I quoted "software" but if you read the full text, this covers copyrighted materials and everything else covered by the DMCA.
We do not know if DMCA trumps fair use or not and we won't until this goes in front of a judge. So until then, it's not clear if stripping DRM for personal us e is illegal or not. So if you can so me a ruling by a judge that shows DMCA trumps fair use, stop saying it's illegal to strip DRM when it may not be.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:31 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
We do not know if DMCA trumps fair use or not and we won't until this goes in front of a judge. So until then, it's not clear if stripping DRM for personal us e is illegal or not. So if you can so me a ruling by a judge that shows DMCA trumps fair use, stop saying it's illegal to strip DRM when it may not be.
I don't have to show you a ruling. I showed you a link to the DMCA. "VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

The act of decrypting an encrypted copyrighted work is, on it's face illegal. I never said it trumped Fair Use. That will probably have to be decided by the Supreme Court. I'm just pointing out the law on it. It says what it says.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:55 PM   #54
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I don't have to show you a ruling. I showed you a link to the DMCA. "VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."
The issue is "a work protected under this title." A work being accessed for fair-use purposes may not be protected under this law; it depends on how fair use is interpreted. (Whether it's an exception to copyright law or an affirmative defense.)

If a work isn't protected by copyright law -- and fair use purposes may mean it's not, in the given situation -- then the DMCA doesn't apply to it.

The DMCA also says,
(c) Other Rights, Etc., Not Affected. — (1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

So the restrictions against using DRM-removing software may not apply to fair use reasons for cracking the DRM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:22 PM   #55
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The issue is "a work protected under this title." A work being accessed for fair-use purposes may not be protected under this law; it depends on how fair use is interpreted. (Whether it's an exception to copyright law or an affirmative defense.)

If a work isn't protected by copyright law -- and fair use purposes may mean it's not, in the given situation -- then the DMCA doesn't apply to it.

The DMCA also says,
(c) Other Rights, Etc., Not Affected. — (1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

So the restrictions against using DRM-removing software may not apply to fair use reasons for cracking the DRM.
"Under this title" is the entirety of U.S. copyright law. If a work isn't copyrighted, then it's in the public domain, and there's no point in bringing up Fair Use, or copyrights- Fair Use applies to copyrighted works.

(c) Other Rights, Etc., Not Affected. — (1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.
The above applies to other copyrighted works where there is no cracking of digital protections on a copyrighted work (broadly speaking, but that's the gist of it). So, you can copy any copyrighted work (following the guidelines under Fair Use) you want. This provision doesn't supersede the language that goes to decrypting an encrypted copyrighted work.

In a Federal Court ruling a Judge ruled that invoking "Fair use can never be an affirmative defense to the act of gaining unauthorized access." Google the Realnetworks case (I believe).

I'm not here to argue about it. If you believe you can crack DRM under the guise of Fair Use, well, go ahead.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:15 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Killing Floor View Post
I don't have to show you a ruling. I showed you a link to the DMCA. "VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

The act of decrypting an encrypted copyrighted work is, on it's face illegal. I never said it trumped Fair Use. That will probably have to be decided by the Supreme Court. I'm just pointing out the law on it. It says what it says.
Wait! Wait! Wait!
Yes, it says what it says, but you're not saying all it says.
I see this has gone back and forth a few times, so I hope I'm not getting to the horse beating stage, but I just took a closer look at the page you so helpfully referenced (Sec. 1201):
Quote:
(B) The prohibition contained in subparagraph (A) shall not apply to persons who are users of a copyrighted work which is in a particular class of works, if such persons are, or are likely to be in the succeeding 3-year period, adversely affected by virtue of such prohibition in their ability to make noninfringing uses of that particular class of works under this title, as determined under subparagraph (C).
It's written in stinking legalese, but it includes exceptions! One of the itemized considerations in section (C) is, "(v) such other factors as the Librarian considers appropriate."

IANAL and we all know lawyers write laws to make them incomprehensible to the masses, but this stinking thing looks like it's riddled with loopholes. If the enforcer is evil, then sure, he can say you broke this tyrannical, corrupt law by enabling yourself to read a book you bought.

But I believe a very strong case will be made at some point that if you bought a book (or someone bought it as a gift in the OP's case) and the DRM adversely affects you and you strip the DRM so you can make noninfringing uses (i.e. so you can read it), then you did not break this law.

And I expect they will use the very words of the DMCA to make the case.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:30 AM   #57
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I'm curious why no one has commented on Xenophon's post at the bottom of page 3 of this thread... or acknowledged it in any way.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:53 AM   #58
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Wait! Wait! Wait!
Yes, it says what it says, but you're not saying all it says.
I see this has gone back and forth a few times, so I hope I'm not getting to the horse beating stage, but I just took a closer look at the page you so helpfully referenced (Sec. 1201):


It's written in stinking legalese, but it includes exceptions! One of the itemized considerations in section (C) is, "(v) such other factors as the Librarian considers appropriate."

IANAL and we all know lawyers write laws to make them incomprehensible to the masses, but this stinking thing looks like it's riddled with loopholes. If the enforcer is evil, then sure, he can say you broke this tyrannical, corrupt law by enabling yourself to read a book you bought.

But I believe a very strong case will be made at some point that if you bought a book (or someone bought it as a gift in the OP's case) and the DRM adversely affects you and you strip the DRM so you can make noninfringing uses (i.e. so you can read it), then you did not break this law.

And I expect they will use the very words of the DMCA to make the case.
The key words are "under this title," which is the entirety of the copyright law.

The bottom line is, if you decrypt an encrypted copyrighted work, you are breaking the law. There already have been infringement cases where the defendants either lost, or settled.

I'm not disagreeing with the stance of many, if not most here, but, to me, the law is very clear. I know how to read the law, as convoluted as it is. You would have to prove (and define) how you were "adversely effected." You could argue then- and I'm pulling this out of my hat- "I stripped the DRM because I don't have electricity, couldn't charge my e-reader, so I sideloaded it into my laptop, which was fully charged, so I could read the DRM protected book there." It's not going to fly. The DMCA has been around for awhile, challenged numerous times- has anyone read any headlines where someone has prevailed? Sure, you, I, the Librarian, can do what we wish- as long as we don't decrypt an encrypted work.

To go into where you can actually strip the DRM legally would only muddy the waters for the sake of this discussion.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #59
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I'm curious why no one has commented on Xenophon's post at the bottom of page 3 of this thread... or acknowledged it in any way.
Agreed. Seems to me that unless there are other lawyers here to dispute the fact, his post is the most accurate information regarding this whole topic.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:05 PM   #60
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This is the last I will chime in on the subject, as I came on here to escape my day job, and the music forum I moderate in-

"Removing DRM from legally acquired content for personal use only is a legal exercise of my fair use rights;" I've already quoted from the Federal Judge decision that says you can't use Fair Use as an affirmative defense when gaining "unauthorized access"- unauthorized access is decrypting an encrypted copyrighted work. The language is very clear when you read the DMCA.

You can own decryption software (I don't believe you can sell that software in US); you just can't use that software.

I'm not asking anyone to agree with me. Quite frankly, I don't care, as I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. I'm just trying to cut through the legalese. If you want to strip the DRM, do so at your own risk is all I have to say. I've done it when I had a problem with my computer, and an e-reader. But I'll freely admit I broke the law when I did so. I'm not going to try to justify my actions by invoking Fair Use, or anything else.
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