Fred von Lohmann, from within the EFF Deeplinks, writes in the most-linked blog entry:
Unfortunately, just as we predicted, all the proposed exemptions that would benefit consumers were denied (space-shifting, region coding, backing up DVDs). So, while we’re pleased that film professors, archivists, cellphone recyclers, and security researchers were able to successfully navigate the exemption process, it appears that digital consumers still have no choice but to get Congress to amend the DMCA. We look forward to Rep. Rick Boucher reintroducing his DMCA reform bill, H.R. 1201, in the new Congress next year.”
Laura Quilter, at Derivative Work, recounts:
I was eagerly anticipating the rulemaking (even more eagerly than usual) after David Carson, General Counsel at the Copyright Office, kept dropping hints about the what we could all look forward to at a panel at Fordham last Friday. (The ever witty Hugh Hansen said it was the closest he’s seen to a legal strip tease.)
Today’s TechLiberation response, by Jerry Brito: “I can’t believe Tim Lee hasn’t posted about this already.”
Copyfighter’s Musings, summing the early reactions, and including this DMCA barb:
The exemptions also don’t make it lawful to provide circumvention tools — so media professors have the right to circumvent CSS, but technically no one is allowed to provide them with the tools to do so. Aaron [Perzanowski is] right that this ruling is better than nothing, but (as he also agrees) the exemption process remains woefully inadequate to deal with the DMCA’s myriad harms.
Finally, Ed Felten on the less-than-inexplicable strategy to drop the news right before Thanksgiving:
Last Wednesday afternoon the U.S. Copyright Office released its list of DMCA exemptions for the next three years. The timing is interesting: releasing news in the afternoon of the day before Thanksgiving is a near-optimal strategy if you want that news to escape notice and coverage in the U.S.
I thought the exact same thing, but today I would say they failed in that goal. It’s unshocking that we in the IP blawgosphere would cover the issue, but it got more press than I expected in the dailies.
What nobody has said so far, however, is that the delay robs those who will use these exemptions of a full month (about 3% of the 3 year window) of legal safe haven. Hopefully, this rulemaking will be eliminated in favor of a generic application of the fair use doctrine to Section 1201, ala Boucher’s proposal (see Section 5).
UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot to include Alex Curtis’s post from the PK blog. He breaks down all the exemptions, noting specific drawbacks. For instance:
Exemption 1 is severely limited to the educations settings of university film or media studies departments, and to media studies or film professors, for the purposes of making compilations of portions of works. Not only can professors and students in different departments not take advantage of these provisions, but the consumer’s ability to make excerpts of digitally protected audiovisual works for criticism or comment is still prohibited.
Okay, now I think I’m done.