Katie Dean on Lexmark

Lexmark Loss Good for Consumers

“We should make clear that in the future companies like Lexmark cannot use the DMCA in conjunction with copyright law to create monopolies of manufactured goods for themselves just by tweaking the facts of this case,” wrote (.pdf) Judge Gilbert Merritt of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. “Congress did not intend to allow the DMCA to be used offensively in this manner, but rather only sought to reach those who circumvented protective measures ‘for the purpose’ of pirating works protected by the copyright statute.”

I finally got to read the opinion this morning (for some reason, The Boston Globe had not been distributed by the time I finished breakfast). Katie’s writeup is good as far as it goes, but there’s a lot to this opinion, and it’s going to take a while for all of its consequences to percolate through the system.