[opendtv] DMCA says you can't fix your own tape-drive

  • From: Monty Solomon <monty@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: undisclosed-recipient: ;
  • Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 22:11:15 -0400



Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 06:23:22 -0400
From: Cory Doctorow
Subject: DMCA says you can't fix your own tape-drive

DMCA says you can't fix your own tape-drive  My cow-orker Jason 
Schultz reports on a breaking new DMCA horripilation: a court has 
ordered a company to stop fixing tape-drives because in so doing, it 
makes unauthorized access of a copyrighted "Maintenance Code."

A district court in Boston has used the DMCA to grant a preliminary 
injunction against a third party service vendor who tried to fix 
StorageTek tape library backup systems for legitimate purchasers of 
the system.

How is this a DMCA violation? Well, it turns out that StorageTek 
allegedly uses some kind of algorithmic "key" to control access to 
its "Maintenance Code", the module that allows the service tech to 
debug the storage system. The court found that third party service 
techs who used the key without StorageTek's permission "circumvented" 
to gain access to the copyrighted code in violation of the DMCA, even 
though they had the explicit permission of the purchasers to fix 
their machines.

Link (http://lawgeek.typepad.com/lawgeek/2004/07/dmca_hammer_com.html)
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