DVD Cracking and Console Modding Legalization
The idea of legalizing game console modding and DVD cracking has been in the woodworks for quite a while, but it was only given serious discussion and a chance at actually being made into reality recently. Of course, as expected, the copyright holders and regulators have outright rejected the proposals made last Thursday, October 25, in regards to making game console jailbreaks (called "mods", which is short for modifications) and DVD cracking (using DVDs for personal use) legal.
Incidentally, modding a game console allows you to run custom software
Without being limited by region and encryption controls. The jailbreaking of consoles is a lot like jailbreaking iPhones in the sense that you'll get to play and run as many games or apps as possible on the jailbroken machine without permission from the manufacturer. Naturally, none of the above proposals could be passed because copyright holders don't want their restrictions lifted at the risk of digital piracy.
The proposition was specifically turned down by the Register of Copyrights' Maria Pallante and the Library of Congress's James Billington. The acts of altering consoles and DVDs in order to get past antipiracy encryption remain illegal and ultimately reserved for pirates. Digital rights groups, as usual, are up-in-arms in regards to the decision, which is well in line with their ongoing campaign against the restrictive attitude copyright regulators have in regards to the advances in digital technology and its impact on their intellectual property.
These activist groups believe that the citizens' digital rights
Are being constrained by copyright owner encryption techniques and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Periodically... that is, once in three years.... the U.S. Copyright Office indulges proposals to make temporary loopholes in the DMCA, the law that makes it illegal to copy copyrighted content outside of personal use and avoid the encryption technologies installed in order to make that copying possible.
In a nutshell, this showdown of sorts is for the unlikely alliance of hackers, disability activists, digital rights groups, and librarians versus the gigantic, big business copyright holders who have a worldview that revolves around consumers and creators, with little else in between. The "rebel" alliance is more interested in upholding the reality wherein anyone can build upon, upgrade, and repurpose machines and media they've bought as they see fit (which was how the world worked until 1998's DMCA came to pass).
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