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A federal law known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was enacted in 1984 to make it illegal to gain unauthorized access to computers and data. Since then, it has undergone a number of amendments, the most recent of which was in 2008, to broaden its purview to cover cyber-related offenses including copyright infringement and anti-circumvention. This blog will give a thorough explanation of the CFAA's anti-circumvention and copyright infringement provisions.
The CFAA makes it illegal for someone to intentionally gain unauthorized access to computers or use them more often than is permitted. This means that people cannot share or download copyrighted content unlawfully using computers in the context of copyright infringement. The CFAA forbids people from selling passwords or other pieces of information that could be used to access computers or data without authorization.
The CFAA forbids people from getting beyond the technological safeguards put in place to safeguard copyrighted materials, like Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. Therefore, users cannot circumvent DRM or use tools to remove DRM from copyrighted materials. This can be regarded as going against the CFAA.
Furthermore, the CFAA forbids giving a website false information in order to access restricted content. A person might be in violation of the CFAA if, for instance, they use a fake identity or email address to visit a website.
The CFAA has harsh consequences for violations. An individual may be subject to a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison sentence of up to 10 years, depending on the seriousness of the offense. Affected parties, such as copyright holders, may also seek civil remedies in order to recover losses brought on by the violation.
25 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Examples ("CFAA")
19. Accessing a computer system or network in order to commit copyright infringement;
22. sending harmful email messages or computer code;
DMCA Copyright Anti-Circumvention under section 1201
10 examples of copyright infringement in violation of DMCA section 1201 anti-circumvention
1. Using DRM software that has been cracked to copy content that is copyright protected.
2. Disseminating software to get around digital locks on works protected by copyright.
3. Offering or sharing techniques to unlock digital content with copyright protection.
4. Disseminating applications that disable copyrighted works' security measures.
5. Making a tool for unlocking digital locks on works protected by copyright available.
6. Disseminating or selling software that evades copyright security measures.
7. Providing services to bypass or eliminate digital locks on works protected by copyright.
8. Providing or selling gear that can be used to bypass digital locks on works protected by copyright.
9. Making technology available to unlock digital locks on works protected by copyright.
10. Disseminating software that disables digital locks on works protected by a copyright without the owner's consent.
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