[kwlug-disc] Printer Question.

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Sat Jun 23 04:13:44 EDT 2012


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On 06/22/2012 09:30 PM, Andrew Kohlsmith (mailing lists account) wrote:
> On 2012-06-22, at 9:25 PM, Paul Nijjar wrote:
>> The counters are not trying to prevent you from copying the
>> printer or even the toner cartridge. Is the argument that this is
>> somehow an access control?
> 
> I'm sure it can and will be argued that the counters prevent you
> from copying the protection mechanism the company uses to prevent 
> counterfeit toner cartridges from potentially damaging your
> printer. That's part of the nasty part of the law. It's easy to
> stretch the meaning and it takes a decent judge (and appeal judge)
> to interpret it in a way that doesn't end up hamstringing us even
> more than C11 was intended to.
> 
> -A.

Similar arguments were made in the USA when the DMCA was passed about
10 years ago.  Court cases involving toner cartridges[1] and garage
door openers[2] were needed before these types of devices were granted
their own exemptions under the US copyright laws.

Since Bill C-11 is a close copy of the DMCA, I expect similar legal
issues will arise in Canada.

The blog Freedom To Tinker was set up by lawyer Ed Felten specifically
to itemize particular techologies that were effectively rendered
illegal under the DMCA.  It shifted focus to more general legal issues
around the time that digital thermometers were identified as falling
under the anti-circumvention language.

- --Bob.

[1]
https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/dmca-used-prevent-interoperation/

"[...] a lawsuit filed by printer manufacturer Lexmark against Static
Control (SC), a maker of toner cartridges for Lexmark printers.
Lexmark wants to stop SC from making toner cartridges that work in
Lexmark printers. The suit makes a novel and disturbing use of the
DMCA anti-circumvention law."

[2]
https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/another-dmca-attack-interoperation/

"Chamberlain makes garage door openers; Skylink makes remote controls
that can interoperate with Chamberlain systems [...] According to
Chamberlain, its systems use a special security code designed to
prevent burglars from recording the systems signals and playing them
back later to trick the door into opening. Skylink’s openers can
interoperate with openers that use this code, and Chamberlain claims
that violates the DMCA. Chamberlain says that the security code system
is a technological measure that effectively controls access to the
software in its door-opening device, and that Skylink is circumventing
that system."

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