Wired has a great blog post looking back at 10 years of DMCA, arguing that while the anti-circumvention parts of the DMCA really suck, as a whole it’s been a good thing.
Essentially, they argue that the DMCA, by spelling out takedown procedures and defining the “safe harbor,” has allowed for a variety of services that would have otherwise been too risky, namely YouTube. It’s a fair point, and an interesting read. The safe harbor provisions definitely give me some confidence in regard to Media Mill, but I’m not sure I would go so far as to say the DMCA is a good thing. And, the DMCA is like a soufflé – it’ll only get worse with age. Each new, DRM-encumbered technology serves to remind us of that. So, I’d argue that the DMCA is a badly broken law with a few good provisions. We can do better.