Originally Posted by Michael Grant
Let's go even further with this book analogy. DRM would be kind of like printing a book on special paper or with special ink that prevents a copy machine from working. If you try to copy a page, it just comes out all black. Now, does that make your fair use rights harder to exercise? Yes. Is it illegal for them to do that? No. Well, what if I don't like it? Don't buy the book, that's what----or, you can circumvent the protection in some way, perhaps by transcribing the text you're interested in by hand. Or maybe someone will figure out that squirting lemon juice on the page defeats the copy protection.
That's where the DMCA comes in. The DMCA effectively makes the "lemon juice trick" illegal, even if all I want to do is copy a page or two for a non-infringing use. It no longer matters why I'm defeating the copy protection; it only matters that I have. Now that is indeed a case of the government presuming guilt, and it's why I think the DMCA was wrong.
I don't think it would be illegal for someone to use lemon juice in that way. Although it is illegal to circumvent an access control (e.g., a lock that is intended to prevent you from opening the book), it is not illegal to circumvent a copy control (e.g., a special paper or ink that is intended to prevent you from copying the book).
However, according to Section 1201(b)(1)
, it would be illegal for someone to manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in lemon juice under certain conditions. "Squirting" is not one of those illegal actions.