This just in: A district court in Boston has used the DMCA to grant a preliminary injunction against a third party service vendor who tried to fix StorageTek tape library backup systems for legitimate purchasers of the system.
How is this a DMCA violation? Well, it turns out that StorageTek allegedly uses some kind of algorithmic "key" to control access to its "Maintenance Code", the module that allows the service tech to debug the storage system. The court found that third party service techs who used the key without StorageTek's permission "circumvented" to gain access to the copyrighted code in violation of the DMCA, even though they had the explicit permission of the purchasers to fix their machines.
What does this ruling mean? If it stands up on appeal, it means StorageTek has a monopoly on service for all of its machines. No independent vendor will be able to compete with them for service contracts because no independent vendor will be authorized to "access" the maintenance code necessary to debug the machine.
The DMCA was meant to stop digital piracy, not inhibit legitimate competition in the computer services market. How many more markets will we allow this law to kill before someone fixes it?
p.s. The Court also found, in a bizarre twist of logic, that while it is legal to load a program into RAM for repairs, it's illegal to allow it to persist in RAM while you fix it. I don't even know where to begin with that one.