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Fair Use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): A Case for Judicial Review?
Unformatted Document Text:  17 the context of its development (fair use or not). The court concluded that whether the defendants made DeCSS available “in order to infringe, or to permit or encourage others to infringe, copyrighted works…simply does not matter for the purposes of section 1201(a)(2).” 62 The court further stated that Congress considered the impact of this restriction on access to works not protected by copyright but are under technological means of access control but still decided that the protection against device circumvention outweighs fair use interests. 63 The court essentially rejected both the first amendment and fair use defenses of the defendants. Sony Computer Entetainment America Inc., v. Gamemasters, Michael Chaddon and Carol Chaddon. 64 In the SCEA case, the defendants were charged with selling allegedly counterfeit accessories for SCEA’s PlayStation video game. The charges included trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting contributory trademark infringement, contributory copyright infringement in violation of federal law and violation of the DMCA, 17 U.S.C. § 1201,6, unfair competition in violation of state law and unfair competition in violation of federal law pursuant to the Lanham Act. 65 In addressing the violation of the DMCA, the court stated that “SCEA is likely to succeed upon its claim that defendants’ sale of the Game Enhancer violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” 66 The Chaddons (defendants) are co-owners in GameMasters, Inc., a small retail store in California that sells used games and peripheral accessories for use with the Sony PlayStation, new games and accessories purchased from other third party vendors apart from Sony. 67 One of the complaints against defendants involves a product known as Game Enhancer. This product manufactured by several companies is an external accessory that performs two functions when plugged into a PlayStation console. One, it allows the modification of the game rules by the users. This modification does not change the fundament component of the video game . Any modification made is temporary to the game at hand. Two, the Game Enhancer allowed users to play “import” games. These are games sold by SCEA exclusively on foreign PlayStation consoles to foreign markets. Without the Game Enhancer, the only games 62 Id. 63 Id. at 304. 64 SCEA, 87 F. Supp. 2d 976; 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21719; 54 U.S.P.Q. 2D (BNA) 1401 65 SCEA at 2-3 66 Id. at 10 67 Id. at 2

Authors: Abah, Adedayo.
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the context of its development (fair use or not). The court concluded that whether the defendants
made DeCSS available “in order to infringe, or to permit or encourage others to infringe,
copyrighted works…simply does not matter for the purposes of section 1201(a)(2).”
62
The court
further stated that Congress considered the impact of this restriction on access to works not
protected by copyright but are under technological means of access control but still decided that
the protection against device circumvention outweighs fair use interests.
63
The court essentially
rejected both the first amendment and fair use defenses of the defendants.
Sony Computer Entetainment America Inc., v. Gamemasters, Michael Chaddon and
Carol Chaddon.
64
In the SCEA case, the defendants were charged with selling allegedly counterfeit
accessories for SCEA’s PlayStation video game. The charges included trademark infringement,
trademark counterfeiting contributory trademark infringement, contributory copyright
infringement in violation of federal law and violation of the DMCA, 17 U.S.C. § 1201,6, unfair
competition in violation of state law and unfair competition in violation of federal law pursuant
to the Lanham Act.
65
In addressing the violation of the DMCA, the court stated that “SCEA is
likely to succeed upon its claim that defendants’ sale of the Game Enhancer violates the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act.”
66
The Chaddons (defendants) are co-owners in GameMasters, Inc.,
a small retail store in California that sells used games and peripheral accessories for use with the
Sony PlayStation, new games and accessories purchased from other third party vendors apart
from Sony.
67
One of the complaints against defendants involves a product known as Game
Enhancer. This product manufactured by several companies is an external accessory that
performs two functions when plugged into a PlayStation console. One, it allows the modification
of the game rules by the users. This modification does not change the fundament component of
the video game . Any modification made is temporary to the game at hand. Two, the Game
Enhancer allowed users to play “import” games. These are games sold by SCEA exclusively on
foreign PlayStation consoles to foreign markets. Without the Game Enhancer, the only games
62
Id.
63
Id. at 304.
64
SCEA, 87 F. Supp. 2d 976; 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21719; 54 U.S.P.Q. 2D (BNA) 1401
65
SCEA at 2-3
66
Id. at 10
67
Id. at 2


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