(Slightly reformatted to adjust paragraph margins.  gbn)

To: Greg Newby <gbnewby@ruby.ils.unc.edu>
CC: Joanne Marshall <marshall@ruby.ils.unc.edu>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 17:42:58 -0400
Subject: Re: DVD next steps


I apologize that an extremely busy schedule has precluded my writing
the memorandum I promised you two weeks ago.  I still plan to write
that memorandum, but in the meantime, I'll attempt to tell you
precisely what we advise that you do, for your protection and the
School's and University's.

First, however, let me note that I'm a bit surprised to see you state
that I had "decided to censor" your class materials.  I would not have
characterized the conclusions reached after our several discussions of
this issue, which have been constructive and congenial, in that
manner.  And I had the impression that those discussions established
for both of us that the DeCSS technology was a clear violation of the
Copyright Act---whether or not we agree that such ought to be the

In any event, such is the opinion of the Office of University
Counsel. The Copyright Act, as amended in 1998, provides that "No
person shall...offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in
any technolgy, product, service, device, component, or part thereof,
that ...is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of
circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access
to a work protected under this title."  Consequently, and immediately,
you should cease making DeCSS available in conjunction with University
duties and/or through use of University resources.  Specifically, and
in response to your inquiries, it is not appropriate for you to make
DeCSS accessible to students, on your web-based syllabus or otherwise;
to put copies of DeCSS in the library (a step that would merely shift
to the library the violation of the statute), or to maintain notes
from past classes dealing with the files in such a manner that they
make DeCSS accessible to others.

In terms of future activities, I believe that having followed the
controversy surrounding DeCSS in other jurisdictions you are quite
familiar with the Copyright Act's requirements, and I'm sure that you
can determine whether a given technology violates that statutes
prohibitions or falls within one of the stated exceptions.  In the
event of doubt, however, please feel free to consult me or Susan

Finally, I note that you had planned to discuss DeCSS in class
tomorrow, April 11.  I don't read the Copyright Act as prohibiting
your discussion of this and other decryption devices (to do so clearly
WOULD be censorship!).  The prohibition is upon providing the device
to the public.  I don't know whether this distinction will make it
possible for you to proceed as planned but thought it worth

I hope that this response addresses your immediate concerns, and I
apologize again that I have not gotten the promised memorandum written
before now.  I will do so without delay, and will send Dean Marshall a

Best regards,


Greg Newby wrote:

> Hi, David.
> I'm concerned that I haven't received a memo from you detailing what
> I'm being asked to do about my use of DVD playing software in my INLS
> 183 class.
> I am scheduled to talk about this and related software again during
> tomorrow's class (Wednesday, April 11, 9:30 am).
> When we spoke on the phone on Monday, March 27, you told me that you
> had decided to censor my class materials by asking me to remove items
> from my online class materials at http://ils.unc.edu/inls183
> What you haven't told me is just what I'm supposed to remove
> or change, and what I'm prohibited from doing in the future.  So,
> pursuant to our email since then, I haven't made changes to my class
> materials and have carried on as usual.
> You did tell me that you were not asking me to follow the
> demands of the complaint letter from the MPAA (that would involve,
> for example, removing files from old backup tapes and removing
> any software at all, including commercially licensed software, that
> could be used to play a DVD).
> But you didn't tell me what files to remove from where, and whether
> I am still allowed to link to the files elsewhere, put copies
> in the library, or maintain notes from past classes dealing with
> the files.
> As I mentioned, I am planning on complying with your requests,
> in consultation with my Dean, when I receive them.  Currently,
> however, I feel as though I'm in the difficult position of not
> being aware of what I've been asked to do, not being able to
> find out whether particular things I've talked about in class
> in the past need to be edited, and not knowing whether I'm
> enjoined from continuing on with the materials I've scheduled
> in my syllabus.
> Thank you for any clarification you can provide in this matter.
>   -- Greg Newby
> // Gregory B. Newby, Assistant Professor in the School of Information
> // and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
> // CB# 3360 Manning Hall, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3360  E: gbnewby@ils.unc.edu
> // V: 919-962-8064 F: 919-962-8071  W: http://www.ils.unc.edu/~gbnewby/

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