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DRM. I assume you know of it, and that it's massively hated. It's "copy protection" software mechanisms that is meant to control how you use and copy media that you have. It's a pain. Nominally, it's there to prevent you from copying the media in illegal ways, but it often also prevents you from doing perfectly legal things with it.

However, it's not just a pain to be worked around. In the US, since the DMCA section 1201 became effective in 1998, it is illegal to try to work around DRM. Mostly.

Every couple of years, the Library of Congress gets to make a list of exceptions to 1201, of specific situations where you can work around DRM without it being illegal. Most recently was October 28, 2015.

Many people still objected to section 1201 on principal that it prevents tinkering, but the Library of Congress' list of exceptions has generally kept people placated.

As for context of their specific case: I'm not totally sure. User csydas suggested that this case became possible because of certain exceptions being removed from the latest version of the list (then some time for the EFF to compile the case). This seams reasonable to me, but to know for sure would involve legal details about the case that we don't have yet.




I'm familiar with DRM and the related DMCA criticism. I just don't get what's so special about this case. It's like when you see a really boring scene in a movie and everyone is laughing at references and subtext you're not getting, or on the edge in suspense.

Like, if the scene is some dinner party, but right before you started watching someone had set a bomb under the table or something. What's the bomb here?


You should be excited about this case because it seeks to overturn the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. It is notable because it's backed by the EFF, notable researchers, and a top law firm. If it succeeds, it would be a huge win for our right to hack--many have posted stories about how those provisions affected them.




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