By Harry McCracken | Monday, July 26, 2010 at 8:29 am
Don’t get too too excited just yet, but a New Orleans circuit judge has ruled that General Electric didn’t violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when it worked its way around the security dongles on some power supplies it owned in order to fix the power supplies. The judge says that GE is in the clear because the action it was trying to undertake–fixing its own property–isn’t illegal.
Until now, the notion has been that any attempt to override copy protection violates the DMCA–which means that the DMCA itself essentially overrides the notion that consumers have the right to make copies of content they’ve bought for personal use. Here’s hoping that this new ruling proves to be influential; the fact that a judge thinks it’s okay to defeat copy protection in certain circumstances is kind of shocking, in a good way….
[RELATED GOOD NEWS: The Copyright Office has declared that it’s legal to jailbreak and unlock phones, as well as override other security measures imposed on consumer electronics gadgets in certain circumstances.]