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I am curious why, if they actually believe they have a good chance of success, this is only being filed now rather than in prior years? Has something changed?



I may be reading the actual complaint incorrectly, but I believe it's because in the 2015 update, the Library of Congress failed to adequately address previously protected exceptions of the DCMA:

>"The Library of Congress failed in its October 28, 2015, rulemaking to grantexemptions from the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision, 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1), for speechusing clips of motion pictures, for the shifting of lawfully-acquired media to different formatsand devices, and for certain forms of security research.SeeLibrary of Congress, “Exemption toProhibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access ControlTechnologies,” 80 FR 65944 (Oct. 28, 2015) (“Final Rule”). The Librarian’s failure to grantthese exemptions violates the First Amendment and the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”),5 U.S.C. § 702.Case 1:16-cv-01492"

As is such, the EFF needed time to compile a case, file it, and also find plantiffs.

[1] https://www.eff.org/document/1201-complaint


> I am curious why, if they actually believe they have a good chance of success, this is only being filed now rather than in prior years? Has something changed?

You need standing and money to sue. Based on the EFF release:

https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-lawsuit-takes-dmca-se...

> EFF is representing plaintiff Andrew “bunnie” Huang, a prominent computer scientist and inventor, and his company Alphamax LLC, where he is developing devices for editing digital video streams. Those products would enable people to make innovative uses of their paid video content, such as captioning a presidential debate with a running Twitter comment field or enabling remixes of high-definition video. But using or offering this technology could run afoul of Section 1201.

> EFF is also representing plaintiff Matthew Green, a computer security researcher at Johns Hopkins University who wants to make sure that we all can trust the devices that we count on to communicate, underpin our financial transactions, and secure our most private medical information. Despite this work being vital for all of our safety, Green had to seek an exemption from the Library of Congress last year for his security research.

They have two people with reasonable reasons for wanting the regulation changed and are affected by it now would be my guess. Oh, and these people need the EFF to cover the legal costs.


So you're telling me Andrew Huang's business model is to make derivative content devices, for profit, without permission or compensation from the original creators and/or rights holders?

I don't find this litigant to be sympathetic in the least (the second one, Green, is much more reasonable - though redundant to the John Deere case going on).

My initial impression is that I might actually want Huang to lose, if the implications of what he wants are as stated. He's trying to justify "remixing" for profit without compensation to the original rights holders. That's hot garbage in my personal opinion as a content creator.


I don't see the problem. I paid for some content, why shouldn't I be able to view it in my manner of preference? If I want to watch it mixed up with some funky third-party subtitles, or a chat window with my friends, why not? You're assuming that Andrew Huang's business model requires sharing content.

Here's a practical application: Due to travel, sometimes my wife and I are apart when the latest Must Watch Episode of something comes out. We will fire up skype and hbonow/netflix and watch it together. Dorky, yes. But also a pain in the ass to keep synced when pausing for bathroom breaks, snacks, etc. Someone should invent an app for that! Oh... but it would be illegal under DMCA.


The problem with your initial paragraph is that you assume making derivative content is legal in one's own home, DMCA not withstanding. Outside of "actual" Four-Factor Test Fair Use, it's infringement. Making a device to enable it is highly suspect as a motivation for an outright repeal of the legislation.

You do know the app you describe wouldn't be illegal under the DMCA if your program was licensed by the rights holders, right? That's what we're getting to here. If Huang's post described how he went about trying to negotiate and make deals with the content providers his device wants to piggy back on, and they were terrible in response, that's a different game - I'd be a lot more sympathetic then, no doubt. Show me where he did the due diligence and crunched the numbers, really!

It certainly doesn't change the basis of argument being asinine when realistically DMCA protections don't get in the way of day-to-day Fair Use. It just takes some effort, not buying some Bunnie Studios box off the shelf so he can make a profit. That's what is so stupid about trying to digitally steamroll protections - any time a human can SEE or HEAR something they can find a way to jack it and do something. It's just reality.


> So you're telling me Andrew Huang's business model is to make derivative content devices, for profit, without permission or compensation from the original creators and/or rights holders?

You realize a TV fits that description, right?

There is no reason for every device in the pipeline to kick back money to the content creator. You only need to pay for it once.


You apparently don't realize watching TV is not an act of creating derivative content, which is the stated goal of the device.

You only have to pay for it once when you're consuming, you have to pay for it in a different way if the intent is to allow someone else to consume a variation of what you've paid for. That's how copyright works. Questions?


I can pull up twitter on my laptop while watching a video and tweet about what I'm watching, and if others are watching it at the same time, I can see their tweets about the same video. Why is putting that twitter content onto the same display as the video somehow different than when it was on my phone display, especially when injected between the player and the display? It would be different if Huang was taking video, modifying it with a twitter stream, and then distributing the resulting derivative work, but that's not what he's doing.

If I sold a transparent LCD display that displayed twitter content, and told buyers to put it in front of the video while it was playing. Would I still be making derivative content for profit? If not, why is compositing the video and overlay physically meaningfully different from the compositing happening between the player and the display?


Yes, and VLC should have to pay movie publishers since they let users add subtitles over the video stream.

That makes a lot of sense. /s


If you can't tell the difference between adding subtitles and making hard edits to video content then I'm sad for you, because it's a very easy distinction to make in the basics of how content, Copyright, and Fair Use work. Not /s


> their paid video content

There are a large number of situations where you have to break protection mechanisms on content you've legally purchased in order to exercise your previously existing and legal rights to use it as an owner.


...and it happens day in and day out, and until I see drastic legal cases of enforcement going out and ruining companies and individual people and families I don't believe that the threat is particularly concerning. It exists, okay, and cleaning up 1201 would be great, but we're talking more about First Sale here in principle.


The ability to chill new development through ambiguously enforced law is just as important as the prohibitions actually in law.


Define new development - the security researcher has extremely valid standing, but "editing and chopping video" isn't new development in the phrasing this case presents.


And that merely makes you a copyright maximalist. Others feel differently, and the law itself is essentially an encoding of policy because here are no natural rights for retaining ownership of all derivative works in perpetuity.


It shouldn't make a difference. I don't think there is a statue of limitations in challenging a law and sometimes it takes some time to understand the implications of a law anyway.




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