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States Launch Mini-DMCA Laws
April 14, 2003
Thomas Mennecke
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Special thanks to Exothermic Reaction who wrote this story.

Illinois already has their mini-DMCA on the books, and after a quick (I'm not a Lawyer) read, I see several sections of concern. One section makes possession of Faraday shielding illegal. They didn't say it that way, but it is what they intend, the specific clause is an attempt to prosecute people who they believe intend to shoplift items from a store that uses electronic theft prevention equipment. The clause specifically says special laminated bags capable of shielding the tags from detection, but the bags they are talking about are the grey anti-static bags that most electronic circuit cards are shipped in.

I used to work with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and we would use these anti-static bags to shield tags that we were not using from being detected during testing. Problem with the law, as noble in its attempt as it may be, is that this also would effectively outlaw aluminum foil, the reflective heat bags that pizza delivery drivers carry and a host of other items that create what is called a Faraday cage shield in electronics terminology (blockselectrical and magnetic waves). Of course this is a stretch, but should be used as an example of how copyright holders can and will abuse current laws.

The Illinois legislation also goes on to define such things as when and how a copyrighted work becomes public domain. It then goes on about having "unidentified recordings" on a computer and how possession of certain numbers constitutes higher levels of penalties. My thoughts that this applies to MP3 and other computer audio / video formats that would normally be found on a hard drive after several hours of web browsing. But the "unidentified recordings" opens it (in my non-lawyer opinion) to all such files regardless of how they got on your computer. It definitely needs more study.

Could other forms of this legislation can be interpreted to make encrypted email and the use ofNAT-based software or hardware firewalls illegal?

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Technology News :: DRM

Read more here.

Story on this written by Professor Edward Felten (RIAA censored his research on SDMI hacking

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