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Universal v. Reimerdes (a.k.a. the NY DVD case)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") in the US

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") was passed on 4th August 1998 by the House of Representatives, USA over the objections of scientists, librarians and cryptographers. As it has been interpreted by the courts thus far, the DMCA bans devices whose primary purpose is to enable circumvention of technical protection systems, and also prohibits the circumvention of technological protection or access control measures used by copyright owners. These are called the 'anti-circumvention provisions'.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit advocating organization on free speech and privacy commented that "DMCA is very bad news because it tilts the delicate balance between copyright and First Amendment too heavily toward the copyright holders. This is because circumventing access controls is necessary in order to make fair use and many kinds of ordinary, legal uses of DVDs, such as playing them on Linux machines."

Date: 29 May 2001