Oh, no! The Hollywood-bought DMCA has dashed DRM fan Michael Gartenberg‘s hopes of forever accessing his Microsoft Reader books without the usual hoops to jump through! Jack Valenti, pat this boy on the head. Oh, but wait! Michael still hasn’t deleted his evil link to the Amber program. Also, he says he’ll consult with legal experts about his personal use of Amber. No telling what they’ll say, but many lawyers would warn him that the DMCA doesn’t respect fair use. Circumvention of copy-protection is circumvention, so does it really matter that Amber doesn’t change the files and requires “an activated computer that reads them”? Meanwhile, Michael, while awaiting the word from your favorite cyberlaw mavens, don’t forget to delete the nefarious link.
The OpenReader stand on DRM: If you must do it, do it right–with more attention paid to consumer convenience. On the convenience factor, OpenReader would totally agree with Gartenberg. I hope he’ll understand the advantages of a standardized approach, which would be easier for vendors to support. I’m not anti-Gartenberg, by the way–just anti-Draconian DRM and anti-DMCA.