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Court: Breaking DRM Allowable

Ars Technica has word of another blow to another of the more contested aspects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, following news that "jailbreaking" a cell phone is allowable. They report the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled (Adobe Acrobat-format) that breaking through digital rights management does not automatically invoke the DMCA's "anti-circumvention" provisions. Getting past such DRM is said to be permissible for accessing the work, as well as "fair use," saying: "Merely bypassing a technological protection that restricts a user from viewing or using a work is insufficient to trigger the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision. The DMCA prohibits only forms of access that would violate or impinge on the protections that the Copyright Act otherwise affords copyright owners." There are suggestions that this may apply to the recent decision that made RealDVD illegal, and they have attempted to contact MGE to see if they will appeal the RealDVD case.