The DMCA is stifling technological innovation, damaging the economy as a result and Copyright Law Hurt Small Businesses. The DMCA in its current state is too absurd to be helpful.
The DMCA has outrageous penalties for menial crimes. The DMCA has helped create outrageous penalties for downloading music, movies, or other media illegally. Just 6 months ago, an appeals court approved a $675,000 fine for a Boston student who was caught illegally downloading 30 songs.
It’s rigid in a fluid world. The DMCA is rigid and restricting, enforcing strict old-school guidelines that don’t fit right in the new realm of the Internet.
It lets the rich get richer while hurting the little guy. The DMCA enables those with big pockets to profit while perpetuating the embarrassing concept that the U.S. is a lawsuit-hungry monster of a country. The practice of leveraging copyrights and patent suites to make profit is damaging the economy by preventing innovation and creativity from thriving.
It restricts an owner’s rights over their property. The DMCA prevents users from ripping and burning their purchased DVDs (even for personal use) so that movie studios can charge astronomically higher prices for the same content. Digital Rights Management (DRM) coding was placed in DVDs to prevent such copying, and circumventing this coding is extremely illegal. Under the umbrella of circumvention, the DMCA has also made it illegal to jailbreak phones, consoles, or other electronics.
It violates free speech and academic advances— or so one could argue. Researches who study DRM technologies are not allowed to share information that could aid in circumvention. Programmer Dmitry Sklyarov was incarcerated in 2001 for working on software that could modify the format of e-books, and others have also suffered punishment for similar research. The DMCA is stifling technological innovation, damaging the economy as a result.