No one seems to quite grasp it.
The crux of the problem with these laws, and accompanying fundamentally flawed court opinions, is that copyright, like patent, is only intended to protect works for a limited time. After this time, the works become part of the public domain. Any before that time, portions of it can be used freely according to legal concept of "fair use."
Therein lies the rub. Without the basic freedom to hack stuff,
protected content will not transfer to the public
domain... as is specifically legislated in the Constitution of the
United States! This doesn't make sense and is a complete
turnaround from the Jeffersonian ideal of IP law. In short,
a rigorously defended DMCA (or UCITA) would ammend the spirit
of the constitution away from public interest.
Todd Hodes, <mylastname @ myfullname dot org>