Sued for NOT using DRM?

This is a bizarre take on copyright law. DRM manufacturers Media Rights Technologies (MRT) and BlueBeat.com have issued cease and desist letters against Apple, Microsoft, Real and Adobe for not including their technological protection measures in products like Windows, iPod and Flash Player. I could try to explain the convoluted reasoning behind this, but I will let MRT’s press release do it for me:

“The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into law by President Clinton in 1998 to disseminate and protect the arts in the digital age. It makes illegal and prohibits the manufacture of any product or technology that is designed for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure which effectively controls access to a copyrighted work or which protects the rights of copyright owners. Under the DMCA, mere avoidance of an effective copyright protection solution is a violation of the act.
MRT and BlueBeat have developed a technological measure which effectively controls access to copyrighted material. […] Therefore, Media Rights Technologies (MRT) and BlueBeat.com have issued cease and desist letters to Microsoft, Adobe, Real Networks and Apple with respect to the production or sale of such products as the Vista OS, Adobe Flash Player, Real Player, Apple iTunes and iPod.”

This is probably nothing more than a publicity stunt, and should not be taken seriously, but imagine the implications of a world that operated in this twisted reading of the law. You could be sued for all sorts of passive behaviours and inaction!

(via Ronald Chichester).

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