When you’re challenging the draconian DMCA, there are good days and bad days. Yesterday was both. On the good side, a federal judge issued a smackdown to Diebold for misusing the DMCA in trying to bully Swarthmore students into taking down links to material that was critical of Diebold’s voting machine security.
On the bad side, a St. Louis court ruled in favor of Blizzard in their DMCA suit, in which Blizzard sought to suppress the open source BnetD, a clone of Blizzard’s Battle.net service that enabled multiplayer options for Blizzard customers who didn’t want to use Battle.net.
What’s the commonality? Other than the DMCA, very little. Yesterday’s rulings in a nutshell say that the “safe harbor” clause of the act should not be misconstrued as an excuse for companies to send infinite numbers of takedowns, but the core anti-circumvention portion of the act stands. Even though the BnetD team was doing reverse engineering to enable compatibility with their free product.