April 13, 2006 | By Fred von Lohmann

Unintended Consequences: Seven Years Under the DMCA

We've just updated our Unintended Consequences report (also available as a print-friendly PDF), which collects reported cases of the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA being used not against pirates, but against consumers, scientists, and legitimate competitors. In the seven years since the DMCA was enacted, this has grown into quite a list:

  1. Chilling Free Expression and Scientific Research
  • DMCA Delays Disclosure of Sony-BMG "Rootkit" Vulnerability
  • Cyber-Security Czar Notes Chill on Research
  • Professor Felten's Research Team Threatened
  • SunnComm Threatens Grad Student
  • Hewlett Packard Threatens SNOsoft
  • Blackboard Threatens Security Researchers
  • Xbox Hack Book Dropped by Publisher
  • Censorware Research Obstructed
  • Dmitry Sklyarov Arrested
  • Scientists and Programmers Withhold Research
  • Foreign Scientists Avoid U.S.
  • IEEE Wrestles with DMCA
  • 2600 Magazine Censored
  • CNET Reporter Feels Chill
  • Microsoft Threatens Slashdot
  • GameSpy Menaces Security Researcher with DMCA
  • AVSforum.com Censors TiVo Discussion
  • Mac Forum Censors iTunes Music Store Discussion
  • Fair Use Under Siege
    • Copy-protected CDs
    • Fair Use Tools Banned: DVD Back-up Software
    • Advanced e-Book Processor and e-Books
    • Time-shifting and Streaming Media
    • embed and Fonts
  • A threat to innovation and competition
    • DMCA Used to Lock Cell Phones to Carriers
    • Apple Threatens Real over Harmony
    • Tecmo Sues to Block Game Enhancements
    • Nikon's Encrypted RAW Format Blocks Adobe
    • HP's Region-Coded, Expiring Printer Cartridges
    • StorageTek Attempts to Block Independent Service Vendors
    • Lexmark Sues Over Toner Cartridges
    • Sony Sues Connectix and Bleem
    • Sony Threatens Aibo Hobbyist
    • Sony Attacks PlayStation "Mod Chips"
    • Blizzard Sues bnetd.org
    • Apple Harasses Inventive Retailer
  • DMCA Shoulders Aside Computer Intrusion Statutes
    • Disgruntled Company Sues Former Contractor For Unauthorized Network Access

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