[sword-devel] Access controls vs. copy control

Jerry Hastings sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 11 Oct 2002 11:00:32 -0700

We have had some discussions on this list about the DMCA and the 
circumvention of access controls and exemptions given by the LOC. The 
copyright office will be taking comments on rule making for the next 3-year 
period. (These rules exist for three years at a time.) Related to that, 
they have released a document http://www.copyright.gov/1201/fr2002-4.pdf .

That document goes into some detail into the difference between an access 
control and a copy control (copy protection). It gives some examples. 
Decrypting or hacking of, passwords or serial numbers, could be 
circumventing of access controls. But, while bypassing limitations on, 
printing or saving to a file, would be circumventing copy controls, it 
would not be circumventing access controls. With copy controls, section 
1201 on circumvention of access controls does not apply to authorized 
users. The other provisions of copyright law, and the limitations to it, 
such as fair use, apply. However, trafficking in a device that allows 
others to circumvent a copy control could be a violation of section 1201b.

The difference is that an access control prevents unauthorized users from 
using the work, while a copy control limits or prevents the copies an 
authorized user can make.

IANAL, this is just my understanding of it.