As I mentioned when I wrote about DRM some moons ago, it is pretty much impossible for DRM systems to actually permit fair use.1 The same problem happens to those who would scan the web for copyright violations- is the use of a piece of music an indefensible copyright violation, or is it protected as a fair use? EFF has a test suite for this; their argument is that these things are fair use, and are indistinguishable (by computers) from copied content, making content-scanning robots very problematic.
As a political statement I doubt this can have much impact, but it will be interesting to see where EFF goes with this from here- I have to assume these are already on youtube somewhere, waiting to be scanned, flagged, and C&D’d.
- Besides what I wrote about in that piece, there is also the problem of “limited times” and of first sale; the first of which DRM systems can’t respect (unless you have a trusted clock) and the second of which no existing system that I’m aware of respects, though it isn’t completely inconceivable. [↩]
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