LICENSING  INTELLECTUAL  PROPERTY
IN  THE  INFORMATION  AGE

(Second Edition)

By
Kenneth L. Port,  Jay Dratler, Jr.,  Faye M. Hammersley, Esq.,  Terence P. McElwee,
Charles R. McManis, and Barbara A. Wrigley

On-Line Problem Supplement
Copyright © 2005   Carolina Academic Press.   For permission, see CMI.
 

Chapter 2

Exercise 1:  Applying the Anticircumvention and Anti-Trafficking Rules of 17 U.S.C. § 1201


To see why and how the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes law and technology converge, take a close look at 1201(a) through (c).  Read these subsections several times.  Then consider how you might work with product designers and engineers to exploit this law in the following businesses.  For each business, consider two questions.  First, how would you arrange the business or provide product security or other product features to take maximum advantage of the protection afforded by this law?  Second, how might your precautions, to the maximum extent possible, avoid unlicensed competition in that business, for example, by restricting competitors' distribution or sale of compatible products or components (including software)?  (You do not have to specify how you would implement the technical aspects of the security or business features that you recommend, only what they should do.  Specifying how is a job for the engineers.)
    a.  Your client would like to provide a Website offering up-to-the-minute but thoughtful and incisive analysis of just-breaking current news events.  How should the client make the analysis available: directly from an open Website, through streaming, downloading, or otherwise?  Which approach would, with the help of 1201, minimize piracy and unlicensed competition?  What security precautions might you recommend to minimize both piracy and unauthorized competition, for example, by rivals re-broadcasting or re-posting your client's current analysis?
    b.  Your client makes remote-controlled, radio operated locks for automobiles.  A small handheld transmitter, like the radio-controlled keys now used on many cars, controls the door locks, trunk lock, interior lights, and ignition.  The hand-held transmitter uses "rotating" codes, so that the same transmitted code can never be used to open the same lock twice in succession.  Could you arrange the systems or technology so that, under 1201, no other manufacturer could offer competing transmitters that would open the same locks?
    c.  Your client makes plows for farmers.  Each of its plows contains a complex electromechanical system designed to predict when each prong of the plow (of which there are twelve to eighteen per plow) is likely to break.  Several electronic sensors are mounted along the shank of each prong of the plow, and signals from them are constantly monitored by a special computer, which causes a red light to glow when the prong is predicted to break within two months.  With luck and proper use, this system allows a farmer to replace prongs in the shop before they break down in the field and, with careful planning, even to replace several about-to-break prongs at once.  Can you help the engineers design or modify a similar system in a way that will, with the help of 1201, prevent competing plow manufacturers from offering replacement prongs for the plow?
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