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July 11, 2004

Yet Another Reason The DMCA Sucks

Ugs, this just pisses me off.

DMCA hammer comes down on tech service vendor

This just in: A district court in Boston has used the DMCA to grant a preliminary injunction against a third party service vendor who tried to fix StorageTek tape library backup systems for legitimate purchasers of the system.

How is this a DMCA violation? Well, it turns out that StorageTek allegedly uses some kind of algorithmic "key" to control access to its "Maintenance Code", the module that allows the service tech to debug the storage system. The court found that third party service techs who used the key without StorageTek's permission "circumvented" to gain access to the copyrighted code in violation of the DMCA, even though they had the explicit permission of the purchasers to fix their machines. [LawGeek] [via boingboing]

What scares me the most about this is thinking about what the next step from here could be. Could a car manufacturer do a similar thing with the computer in your car? I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know for sure, but it seems like it could be done.

Posted by snooze at July 11, 2004 09:55 AM