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Old 09-29-2007, 07:00 AM   #91
astra
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
What I meant was that, if it's illegal in the US to provide someone with information about how to remove DRM, and someone does that on this site, which is hosted in the US, would that leave the site liable to legal action?
Most likely yes.
That's why no one here posts DRM cracks or explains how to crack MobiPocket or tell where to find the crack.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:23 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
You seem to be ignorant of the law. Breaking DRM is not illegal in the U.S.

The DMCA only prohibits you from figuring out how to break DRM and then publishing (in either code or written word) how it was done.

If you want to crack the DRM on your eBooks, you are free do do so. You just can't tell anyone how you did it.

It's perfectly legal for me to download some software to rip my DVDs to play on my portable video player. It's not legal for me to distribute such software.
With respect, Lauzon, your views do not agree with other information I have found. Eg, the Wikipedia article on the DMCA says:

Quote:
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law which implements two 1996 WIPO treaties. It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that are used to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as DRM) and criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself.
My emphasis added. Note that there are two provisions, the second of which does indeed specifically prohibit the removal of DRM.

According to this, it is indeed illegal to "circumvent an access control" - ie to remove DRM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:22 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
According to this, it is indeed illegal to "circumvent an access control" - ie to remove DRM.
"The DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions don't prohibit the mere possession or use of a section 1201(b)(1) circumvention technology (copy controls), so it's legal to use AEBPR in a non-infringing way. Paradoxically, although it is legal for people to bypass these controls and exercise fair use rights, the provision of them is illegal under Section 1201."
See the EFF page on this topic.

Note: AEBPR is "ElcomSoft's Advanced eBook Processor (AEBPR) allegedly removes the technological protection from eBooks that are in Adobe's eBook format and converts them into Adobe's Portable Document Format, so that people can use eBooks in more expanded ways than currently available under the Adobe eBook format."

There's also some information on what the DMCA actually says:
"The DMCA inserted new anti-circumvention provisions into the Copyright statute. These make it an offense to engage in an act of circumvention of a technical protection (section 1201(a)(1)), to develop and provide tools to others which would allow them to access a technologically protected work (section 1201(a)(2)) and to manufacture, import , provide or traffic in tools that would enable another to circumvent protection to copy a protected work (section 1201(b)(1)(A))."
From the EFF.

If you'll notice, there's nothing there prohibiting the use of these tools.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:06 AM   #94
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In another similar but different law (in the USA), it is legal for a minor to purchase an adult magazine such as Playboy. But it is illegal for the shop to sell it to a minor.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:27 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
There's also some information on what the DMCA actually says:
"The DMCA inserted new anti-circumvention provisions into the Copyright statute. These make it an offense to engage in an act of circumvention of a technical protection (section 1201(a)(1)), to develop and provide tools[/B] to others which would allow them to access a technologically protected work (section 1201(a)(2)) and [B]to manufacture, import , provide or traffic in tools that would enable another to circumvent protection to copy a protected work (section 1201(b)(1)(A))."
From the EFF.

If you'll notice, there's nothing there prohibiting the use of these tools.
Sorry, my highlighting again, but isn't using such a tool "engaging in an act of circumvention of a technical protection"? If not, what does that phrase mean? I would interpret (a)(1) to mean that it's illegal to use such a tool, and (a)(2) to mean that it's illegal to develop or distribute them.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:41 AM   #96
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The various laws were practically designed to be foggy and contradictory between themselves, specifically to allow the authorities "wiggle room" on how they interpret and apply the laws.

Again, this is why people in the U.S. aren't being prosecuted across the board for possessing or even using DRM crackers--becuase they couldn't possibly find them all--but individuals who are singled out, generally by those who have lost money by their specific actions, can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Further, if someone suspected that anyone on this site who's gone on record stating "I broke the DRM on my e-book" was actually selling (or even giving away) that DRM-cracked e-book, and costing someone else money, they could also be dragged before the tribunal and prosecuted (provided proof could be provided by the accuser that their cracked e-books were out on the web, of course).
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:08 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Sorry, my highlighting again, but isn't using such a tool "engaging in an act of circumvention of a technical protection"? If not, what does that phrase mean? I would interpret (a)(1) to mean that it's illegal to use such a tool, and (a)(2) to mean that it's illegal to develop or distribute them.
According to the EFF's interpretation (and they ARE lawyers there), use is not illegal. Only distribution of tools.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:06 PM   #98
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But is MobileRead OK. We are on a server located in the United States - could the site be taken down for breaking US law?

I think the very worst that could happen would be a cease and desist letter demanding the material be removed.

Then someone will get win of it, it will get posted on diggs and slashdoted and then the next thing you know everyone and his cousin would be posting the information all over the net and yelling censorship.

This has happened a few time and the AACS encryption key controversy is a good example.

So I wouldn't worry. Unless this site starts to make copyrighted book available for download, nothing will happen.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:09 AM   #99
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Actually, an organization could unilaterally go to the MobileRead ISP without informing MobileRead, inform them that MobileRead is disseminating illegal material, and demand it be taken down immediately. Many ISPs will comply instantly, even without proof or due process being served, in order to avoid being involved in the legal hassles. This has happened in the past in the U.S., and the laws essentially condone it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #100
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While it's condoned, it's not legal. We are allowed our right to due process and they have to have proof that we've done something wrong.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:44 PM   #101
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I don't think that due process applies when it's not the government taking the action ....
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:56 PM   #102
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I don't think that due process applies when it's not the government taking the action ....
Yep. You have a company going to another company basically threatening a civil suit if they don't comply. It's not an order or any sort of government-sanctioned action.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:06 PM   #103
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Yep. You have a company going to another company basically threatening a civil suit if they don't comply. It's not an order or any sort of government-sanctioned action.
But, if you get your site shut down because of this and then it's decided that you did not really do anything illegal, can't you then take the two companies to court for damages and whatnot?
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:19 PM   #104
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But, if you get your site shut down because of this and then it's decided that you did not really do anything illegal, can't you then take the two companies to court for damages and whatnot?
All of that costs money which is why most people cave to threats.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:20 PM   #105
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But, if you get your site shut down because of this and then it's decided that you did not really do anything illegal, can't you then take the two companies to court for damages and whatnot?
Can you? Sure. Can you afford to? Possibly not.

Many times the folks who are the targets of this sort of action comply because they lack the resources to successfully fight it.
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Last edited by DMcCunney; 10-11-2007 at 11:15 PM.
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