Giant Robots, Circumvention, and the DMCA


HCS is proud to be hosting, with the Journal of Law and Technology and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a technical talk about a legal matter: StorageTek v. CHE, a case with important implications for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Whether you're interested in law or just in how to repair giant robots, this one's for you!

Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 6:30 PM
Maxwell-Dworkin 119 (upstairs)

Buffet Dinner Provided by Elysium Digital

Computer Scientist, Christian Hicks, has worked as a technology
litigation consultant at Elysium Digital in Cambridge for over 10
years. He will present the case, StorageTek v. CHE. In this case,
Storage Technology Corporation (also known as StorageTek), sued
defendant, Custom Hardware Engineering & Consulting INC. ("CHE") for
copyright infringement resulting from the maintenance and repair of
Storage Technologies' data tape storage components. The repair and
maintenance required that CHE make copies of maintenance software in
the machines and crack an access code. The parties disputed the
applicability of section 117(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act, which provides a safe harbor for copying of software for
maintenance or repair. Christian will provide the background and
context for this case. He will discuss anti-circumvention provisions
of the DMCA as well as the broad applications of DMCA
anti-circumvention. Prior important DMCA-limiting cases such as
Skylink v. Chamberlain and Lexmark v. Static Control will also be
reviewed. Christian will present the StorageTek Silo Systems and CHE's
devices and methods. He will detail the Federal Circuit court's
opinion and discuss the many implications which arose from the ruling.
Mr. Hicks will end his talk with lessons for potential circumventors
and copyright holders as well as questions of permanent copyright.

Mr. Hicks first began his career in technology consulting for the
legal industry when he was retained by Princeton University Professor
Edward Felten, to help in his work for the Department of Justice's
antitrust case against Microsoft.