DMCA vs. Star Trek replicators

This is purely a a theoretical question, but it’s been tugging at my brain for a while.

If somebody were to duplicate a copy-protected media (i.e. an Xbox game disc) with the kind of molecular-scale replication technology we see in Star Trek, would s/he be guilty of bypassing a copy protection measure?

My instinct says no, because the replicated disc still contains the same copy protection measures as the original, and they’re essentially re-creating the entire disc.

Would it make any difference if each copy and the original included a label saying x of y copies (original would just say how many other copies were made)?

What if the person making the copies was unaware that the discs contained any copy protection?

If the material is copyrighted, then you’re clearly making a copy and violating the copyright protection. This isn’t precisely the question you’re asking though I don’t think. I believe you’re asking if they specifically violated the law about bypassing copy-protection schemes. I suspect the answer to your question is yes. They did violate the law. You certainly did bypass teh scheme that prevented copying. If that’s technically not the case for some reason right now, I’d assume that by the time the technology becomes available, it would be against the law unless it fell under back-up copy exceptions or something like that.

We’d need the STMCA (Star Trek Millenium Copyright Act). :wink:

Until then, yes it would violate DCMA.

You can already do this exact scenario with, say, copy-protected game CDs or DVDs. There are more than a couple products that can duplicate a CD or DVD, copyright-protection intact. And yes, it’s copyright infringement. Just saying you don’t need a replicator for this scenario.

I just want to see the copyright enforcement guys show up with their lawyers, only to find the guy with the replicator waiting with a replicated copy of their legal team. :smiley:

I suspect that by then, we’d be more civilized and we’d no longer have any silly copyright laws. At least the ones that effectively forbid you from EVER being able to copy something - I think you should be able to copy something once the producer stops selling it, not decades after (which effectively means that many things will never be legal to copy; for example, I doubt Windows 7 or most of today’s video and audio formats will run on computers a century from now, much less exist).