A 20-year-old digital copyright law is still being fought about (and copied) today
This. Marketplace podcast is brought to you by Colgate. University now in its bicentennial year. Colgate university is celebrating a proud tradition of intellectual rigor at it's beautiful campus in central New York. The deadline for early decision this November fifteenth. Learn more at Colgate dot EDU and by G, suite by Google cloud. A suite of cloud based productivity tools that includes g mail doc slides sheets and drive you can make real time updates to the same document without having to keep track of multiple versions. And since all tools are cloud based your whole team can access the same document and work on the same page at the same time make it with G suite by Google cloud. Find out more at G, suite dot com. Twenty year old digital copyright law is still being fought about and copied today from American public media. This is marketplace tech demystifying the digital economy. I'm Ali would. You know, those music videos, you love on YouTube, and the memes you love to laugh at well. Proposed digital copyright laws in Europe and other countries kinda wanna make those a little less common, and they have their roots in a twenty year old copyright law here in the US called the digital millennium copyright act. So it's a big gnarly hairball of a law. Corey doctor was a writer and activist with the electronic frontier foundation. We reached him in his hotel room and Berlin, he and the F F have been talking about and litigating over the unintended consequences of the DMCA for almost twenty years. Now, the law was written at a time when it was newly possible to rip CDs and DVD's and put them online illegally downloading music was getting more popular Napster came out in nineteen ninety nine remember that and this big copyright law. The DMCA was designed to protect companies and artists from having their works, stolen and disseminated. All. Over the internet. But almost from the beginning critic said it was too broad doctor. Oh points to one section that covers the circumvention of tools that are designed to protect copyright the idea. Here was that if you like made a DVD player and he wanted to control whether DVD's bought in another country could play on it. You could make a little like code that check to see whether the DVD was bought in the same place as the DVD player, and if not you could refuse to play the DMCA made it illegal to tamper with things like that little code. But it basically said it was illegal to break any copyright locks in any product. And that's why you weren't allowed to open up your smartphone or your tractor to fix it which we talked about earlier this week. And so here we are twenty years later, and this tactic is now being used to lock third party ink out of ancient printers. It's in voting machines. And it's being used to punish security researchers who audit voting machines because they say if you reveal the defects in the voting machines, it might help. Someone bypass these copyright locks. Now, there is a provision in the law for a review every three years to consider exemptions one of those reviews just happened. It gave you more rights to fix your smartphone and your tractor and back in two thousand fifteen the library of congress did grant a limited exemption to protect researchers who were trying to find out if voting machines or other electric systems had security flaws as long as they were acting in good faith. However, there was a large catch the researchers can break through digital rights management DRM to find out if for example, a voting machine has a security problem. But if they describe the tools, they used to find those flaws they could get a huge fine or even go to jail, which means nobody else can verify the research. The DMCA should have been raised in the most common sense way imaginable, which is to say if you break the R M to infringe copyright. You're breaking the rules. If you're breaking DRM in your non infringing copyright. You're allowed to do. Do it refining. The DMC has been a long process, and it's not just academics. And researchers who want to fix it in two thousand sixteen major music industry organization said another provisions of the copyright law was making it too easy for sites like YouTube to keep hosting copyrighted music. And they wanted reforms to kind of ironic since the music industry pushed hard for the original law. And now for some related links related to copyright issues. Google is of course, a huge target of copyright owners. And yes, has let a lot slip through the cracks over the years, not even cracks canyons, really. But it put out a report yesterday detailing. It's twenty eighteen efforts to fight piracy. Google said it's invested one hundred million dollars in tools to spot infringing content. They actually scan uploads against a database of copyrighted material, which is something the proposed EU copyright law. Wants everyone to do in fact, and then if someone uploads copyrighted content, the original copyright owner gets ad revenue. From it Google said it's paid three billion dollars to copyright owners that way and another one point eight billion to the music industry in the form of revenue in its report. Google also said if you give people a way to pay for legitimate content. They are far less likely to steal it taking note TV. On demand people. Finally, if you're totally bored with smartphone designs, and I know you are because the biggest innovation in the last five years has basically been the notch. Then get yourself to the internet and watch video of Samsung's foldable smartphone, which it showed up yesterday at a developer conference. It falls out to become a seven inch tablet, and then closes up and there's a phone screen on the front. Google said, the Android operating system will support these crazy do hickeys Lenovo and Xiaomi and LG are also working on them willa work. I don't know. Do you want it? I don't know. All I know is it wasn't about politics. And I don't think it had a notch. I'm in both of those related links are on our website. Marketplace tech dot org. I'm Ali would. And thanks for listening to marketplace tech Tele friends, so they can listen to. This is a PM.