April 28, 2006 | By Derek Slater

Felten: DMCA Does Real Harm to Real People

The litany of DMCA abuses continues to grow, and yet some still deny the damage being done. Perhaps they'd think differently if they tried walking in the shoes of a company or individual who's stared down the barrel of DMCA claims.

Take Professor Ed Felten, who EFF has helped defend against the RIAA's threats. Responding to the Progress and Freedom Foundation's Solveig Singleton describing the case as having a "happy ending," Felten writes:

"To call the case of my colleagues and me a 'happy ending' takes some real chutzpah. Let's catalog the happy consequences of our case. One person lost his job, and another nearly did. Countless hours of pro bono lawyer time were consumed. Anonymous donors gave up large amounts of money to support our defense. I lost at least months of my professional life, and other colleagues did too. And after all this, the ending was that we were able to publish our work — something which, before the DMCA, we would have been able to do with no trouble at all.

In the end, yes, we were happy — in the same way one is happy to recover from food poisoning. Which is not really an argument in favor of food poisoning."

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