[Videolib] German library allowed to crack copy protection

Brewer, Michael (brewerm@u.library.arizona.edu)
Thu, 27 Jan 2005 10:46:00 -0700

Michael Brewer
Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
University of Arizona Library A210
1510 E. University
P.O. Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721
Voice: 520.307.2771
Fax: 520.621.9733

This may be of interest to some. It seems that German libraries are now
able to circumvent anti-piracy controls for uses that are well beyond what
the Librarian of Congress has allowed for libraries in this country. Let's
hope that this is a sign of things to come in the US (allowing this, for
example, for fair use, or TEACH act uses).


>German library allowed to crack copy protection
>26 January, 2005
>The German national library (Deutsche Bibliothek) has negotiated a license
>with right holders to legally circumvent copy protection mechanisms on
>CD-roms, videos, software and E-books. It seems this is the first library
>in Europe to have managed a voluntary agreement on the strict new
>anti-circumvention rules prescribed by the EU copyright directive of 2001
>(2001/29/EC). Article 6 of the EUCD prohibits acts of circumvention, as
>well as the distribution of tools and technologies used for circumvention
>of access control or copy protection measures. Member States could choose
>between penal or civil sanctions for infringement. Germany has chosen
>penal sanctions, with large fines or a 3 year prison sentence for
>circumvention for a commercial purpose.
>Article 6.4 of the EUCD calls on governments to take appropriate measures
>should voluntary agreements between rights holders and 'beneficiaries of
>exceptions or limitations' fail. One of these permitted exceptions, that
>can be introduced by Member States, is Article 5.2c: "in respect of
>specific acts of reproduction made by publicly accessible libraries,
>educational establishments or museums, or by archives, which are not for
>direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage."
>The German transposition of the EUCD, entered into force in September
>2003, did not explicitly acknowledge this limitation, but allows users to
>circumvent technical measures for private, non-commercial archiving
>purposes. This exception indirectly also applies to libraries and
>archives, but depends on permission from the rights holders. In the
>explanatory memorandum of the second 'basket' of copyright legislation,
>proposed in September 2004, the legislator only introduces a specific
>exception for libraries to make works available online, at the library,
>but declines any further clarification on the archiving issue.
>The German Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the German
>Booksellers and Publishers Association have agreed to allow the library to
>fulfill its legal obligation to collect and make available material for
>long-term archiving purposes. The agreement also allows the library to
>break digital locks on books and music for scientific purposes of users,
>for collections for school or educational purposes, for instruction and
>research as well as on works that are out of print. These duplications are
>subjected to a fee and possibly a digital watermark. Right holders may
>either supply a lock-free copy of a work, but if not, the library may
>circumvent the protection.
>Joint press release library and rights holders
>German Library Allowed To Crack Copy Protection
>European Digital Rights, 2004. Some Rights Reserved.

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