I’m going to try to summarize the newly published exemption to the anticircumvention rules, but it will take a while because it’s complicated as heck. For our class of university folks, it’s better, BUT — .
The “but” will take a while to explore. In the meantime, my less educational and informative assessment of this rulemaking:
The prolixity of this rulemaking puts it into its own special hell of inaccessible, unintelligible, crazy-making meshugaas / mishegas. It makes me nostalgic for the glory days of 2000, 2003, when at least you could read the exception. Can’t they just “publish any class of copyrighted works”?
Is this the kind of fine regulatory work we could expect even more of from a newly independent Office?
On medical devices and all the other really nutty stuff they were dealing with: The CO really should have been bold and broadened the run-around they did on printer cartridges in ’06, beefing it up with a little misuse …. As Cathy Gellis points out, they go the extra mile on interpreting their authority in some instances, so why not here, in areas where they are so clearly not competent?
The hubris of the CO really thinking they can and should opine on copyright and its appropriate boundaries in these contexts is astonishing. My read on the embargo is them trying to give time to weigh in post-publication, because they needed to get the decision out — Maria Pallante (the Register of Copyrights) is nothing if not diligent about deadlines.
- Jon Band, “The Complexity Dialectic: A Case Study from Copyright Law”, InfoJustice, March 10, 2015 – Brief blog post summarizing Band’s lengthier report on the problems with the increasingly complex DMCA anticircumvention rulemaking process.
- Michael Weinberg, “Unlocking 3d Printers Ruling Is a Mess”, Oct. 27, 2015 – This is a detailed examination of just one of the many technically complex issues the Copyright Office looked at — 3d printers.