Summary: consumers are worse off under the Exposure Draft than they are under current law. This is because they now risk liability where they did not before (liability for the individual act of circumvention has been introduced). This is the intended effect of the laws, and was inevitable under the FTA. The hot-button issues for consumers, however, are:
1. region-coding: here, the result is a little murky;
2. spare parts (printer cartridges, garage door openers): problem avoided;
3. the making of back-ups: there will be no such right. Unfortunate, but probably inevitable. But note that so far, the making of more than one copy or provision of replacement copies is tending to be accommodated (iTunes).
One important point to note for consumers is that there is little in this package to protect us from malfunctioning TPMs, or even evil wicked mean and nasty Sony Root-kit type TPMs.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Kim Weatherall: The TPM Exposure Draft: what does it mean for ... consumers?
Kim has been following the copyright process and has posted a thorough article on her assessment of its impact on consumers.