Could the tide be turning against the DMCA? Rick Boucher (a Virginia Democrat who has been speaking out against the DMCA for over a year) and John Doolittle (a California Republican) have introduced a bill that would rescind some provisions of the DMCA. Declan McCullagh (who appears to have joined the staff of has the report). From the article, a list of the changes to the DMCA:

  • An exemption would be created saying anyone who “is acting solely in furtherance of scientific research into technological protection measures” would be able to distribute his or her code. That would permit Felten and other researchers–such as a programmer being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a current lawsuit–to publish their work without the threat of lawsuits.
  • Bypassing technological protections would be permissible if done for legitimate “fair-use” purposes. The bill says it would not be a violation of federal law to “circumvent a technological measure”–as long as it does not lead to “an infringement of the copyright in the work.”
  • Creating a utility like DeCSS.exe might become legal. The bill says it would be legal to “manufacture, distribute, or make noninfringing use of a hardware or software product capable of enabling significant noninfringing use of a copyrighted work.”