This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, the Right to Repair Act may not sound much like a copyright law, but it addresses a critical issue with the DMCA anti-circumvention rules, namely that auto manufacturers have used lock out codes and encryptions to ensure that only authorized dealers are able to repair their cars, making any circumvention of those codes a violation of the act, even if it is to fix a broken vehicle.
The new law, which seems to have broad support across the political spectrum, makes it legal for unauthorized shops to break those codes and continue to work on the vehicle, even if it requires circumventing digital locks.
Though the EFF, to which this item is linked, supports the bill, they feel that it does not go far enough as it doesn’t cover, computer, printers and other electronic devices that can not be repaired due to digital locks.
Next up, The Pirate Bay trial keeps taking more twists and turns. Recently we learned of accusations of bias against the judge that oversaw the case which found the four founder guilty, we then learned that one of the judges who would judge his bias also had alleged bias of her own and now, at least one of the replacement judges, has been accused of similar bias due to memberships of organizations the defendants feel are pro-copyright.
That’s a lot of alleged bias.
However, the appeals court has no intentions of replacing these judges, which were pulled from a different district, and expects a ruling on this issue within a matter of weeks. Once that is done, the appeals process in the trial may continue but many feel that the bias issue is by far The Pirate Bay’s best chance for a new trial.
Finally today, a new legal theory has emerged that claims every single pending copyright case in the U.S. lacks jurisdiction. The reason is that the “Head of a Department” to satisfy the Appointments Clause must be a cabinet-level position. However, the Librarian of Congress, who appoints the Register of Copyrights, who in turn appoints the people who actually perform the registrations, are not and that means the registration process runs afoul of the Constitution and, in turn, the registrations are invalid. Without said registrations, there can be no jurisdiction.
This exact argument is currently be used against the Copyright Royalty Board but could also be used against virtually any active of the Copyright Office.
This won’t have any impact on the rulings that have already been handed down but it could become an argument in future cases. Also, though the argument sounds decent on paper, it hasn’t been actually tested yet and may still be shot down, in fact, that seems fairly likely as failure to do so would result in the entire U.S. Copyright system coming to a screeching halt.
Not that the Copyright Office hasn’t already done that with the insane registration delays.
That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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