April 13, 2003
Corrected: DMCA Exemption Hearings

Following up on this previous bIPlog post about the DMCA and N2H2, J.T. Stanton attended the April 11th hearings on the DMCA exemptions under Sect. 1201, held at the Library of Congress. Seth Finkelstein with Jonathan Band (representing library associations) supported the exemptions, while David Burt of N2H2 opposed.

Notably: Finkelstein made the distinction that "...filtering is when you block something you don't want to see. Censorship is when someone blocks something they don't want you to see." This set the stage for a hearing where Burt admitted he didn't know much about copyright law, and so he couldn't address the copyright issues, but he did suggest that the database could be checked one URL at a time, and this was enough to know what was blocked and what wasn't, verses making the entire database available to researchers. However, it was pointed out that it's hard to check for something if you don't know what's there.

Next up were proponents Thomas Leavens of Full Audio Corporation and Seth Greenstein of the Digital Media Association verses Steve Englund, the RIAA representative who opposed an exemption for webcasters to be able to read CD's on computers in order to webcast out the music. Apparently, the LOC doesn't generally allow specific exemptions like this, but the webcasters are paying 8.8% royalties to the RIAA so the LOC is at least considering it.

Updated 5/5/03, 10:00 am: This posting has been corrected because the original stated that David Burt in his testimony admitted he didn't know much and couldn't talk in detail about the N2H2 filtering technology, when he actually was referring to his knowledge of copyright law (see transcript).

Update 5/1/03: Transcripts for the hearing have become available here.

Updated 4/15/03: Name of author of blog notes corrrected.

As Originally Published 4/13/03:

Following up on this previous bIPlog post about the DMCA and N2H2, James Tyre attended the April 11th hearings on the DMCA exemptions under Sect. 1201, held at the Library of Congress. Seth Finkelstein with Jonathan Band (representing library associations) supported the exemptions, while David Burt of N2H2 opposed.

Notably: Finkelstein made the distinction that "...filtering is when you block something you don't want to see. Censorship is when someone blocks something they don't want you to see." This set the stage for a hearing where Burt admitted he didn't know much and couldn't talk in detail about the N2H2 filtering technology, but he did suggest that the database could be checked one URL at a time, and this was enough to know what was blocked and what wasn't, verses making the entire database available to researchers. However, it was pointed out that it's hard to check for something if you don't know what's there.

Next up were proponents Thomas Leavens of Full Audio Corporation and Seth Greenstein of the Digital Media Association verses Steve Englund, the RIAA representative who opposed an exemption for webcasters to be able to read CD's on computers in order to webcast out the music. Apparently, the LOC doesn't generally allow specific exemptions like this, but the webcasters are paying 8.8% royalties to the RIAA so the LOC is at least considering it.

Posted by Mary Hodder at April 13, 2003 10:28 PM | TrackBack
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