How DMCA Anti-Trafficking restrictions prohibit distributing software and technology that circumvent DRM and encryption

Anti-Trafficking Provisions - Distribution control

The DMCA prohibits distributing (also called "trafficking in") technologies such as software that would allow an individual to circumvent technological protection measures (important if you host or even link to software or other technologies that could circumvent technological protection measures).

As to distribution the DMCA states that it is:

  • Illegal to traffic in(ie distribute, perhaps even linking to) any technology whose primary purpose is to allow people to circumvent DRM, TPM.

This provision is focused on the DRM and encryption that keeps you from seeing or hearing something. An example of a violation might be hosting and distributing software that circumvents technological protections that make you unable to view Pay Per View movies you don't purchase from your Cable or Satellite provider.

  • Illegal to traffic in(ie distribute, perhaps even linking to) in a device that allows you to circumvent copy protections.

This provision is targeted at keeping you from making copies, rather than seeing or hearing the content as discussed previously. An example of a violation here would be distributing software that allows users to get around restrictions by an online music service such as Itunes or Rhapsody that limits your ability to make copies of music you purchased to 5 copies total.

So if you come across software that allows people to circumvent technologies designed to control access to or copying of a copyrighted work, keep this in mind.

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