IEEE advises Congress to rethink the DMCA

This was just slashdotted, but I think it’s worth repeating. As a computer engineer, this makes me feel really good. The DMCA has hit academics pretty hard, especially when it comes to encryption. But fortunately the IEEE is thinking a little bigger:

IEEE members have reported that some content providers have sent baseless or inadequate DMCA notices to service providers, and that some service providers have gone beyond the removal of material that allegedly infringes, including blocking access to all the user’s material, suspending the user’s account, and sometimes even suspending all access to the Internet by the user. IEEE-USA believes that this goes far beyond the balance between user and content provider rights struck by Congress in the DMCA notice-and-takedown provisions.

Recently, researchers whose work falls within the exemption provided by Congress have been threatened with possible litigation under the DMCA, causing great concern for those researchers who want to publish their results in academic conferences and journals and similar forums, including those sponsored by the IEEE. IEEE-USA strongly condemns those who threaten legitimate research and its publication when Congress has stated its intention to protect such research and publication from litigation.

Leave a Reply