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Computer Requirements: Hardware and Software
Computer Requirements: Hardware and Software
You will need the following items to access and interact in your College of Education online course.
- All students should have dedicated access to a computer using a modern operating system such as Windows 7 or Mac OS X. Students should make sure to have access to a back-up computer (work, friend or relative’s computer) in case of equipment failure.
- A high-speed Internet connection is highly recommended for all courses. We cannot guarantee multimedia components will work on slower connections. Some wireless connections might also present a problem. Unfortunately, we cannot distribute hard copies (e.g., cd-rom, dvd-rom) of multimedia items.
- Many courses use audio-video presentations. Students will need speakers, microphone, and headphones for the presentations.
This software is available at no cost (the one exception is the MS Office suite, however there is a free alternative). It is recommended that you download the software even if you already have it on your computer. Many technical problems you might encounter can be resolved by installing the latest version of the following software. Click on the logo(s) to download.
- Firefox Web Browser – In order to simplify compatibility issues, we ask all students to access their courses using Firefox (Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari have limited functionality)
- Adobe Flash Player – Many courses include A/V presentations which require the Flash Player.
- Adobe Reader – Many courses include .pdf documents which require Adobe Reader.
- Java Runtime Environment – Many courses incorporate content which requires JRE.
- MS Office or Open Office – Courses require updated business suite applications. Open Office is a free alternative to the MS Office suite. You can get Open Office here.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
Rulemaking Fixes Critical DMCA Wrongs
San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions today, carving out new legal protections for consumers who modify their cell phones and artists who remix videos — people who, until now, could have been sued for their non-infringing or fair use activities.
DMCA Legislative Background
Congress enacted the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions in response to two pressures. First, Congress was responding to the perceived need to implement obligations imposed on the U.S. by the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty. Second (as reflected in the details of section 1201, which go well beyond anything the WIPO treaty required 2), Congress was also responding to the concerns of copyright owners that their works would be widely pirated in the networked digital world.
Section 1201 contains two distinct prohibitions: a ban on acts of circumvention, and a ban on the distribution of tools and technologies used for circumvention.
The “act” prohibition, set out in section 1201(a)(1), prohibits the act of circumventing a technological measure used by copyright owners to control access to their works (“access controls”). So, for example, this provision makes it unlawful to defeat the encryption system used on DVD movies. This ban on acts of circumvention applies even where the purpose for decrypting the movie would otherwise be legitimate. As a result, the motion picture industry maintains that it is unlawful to make a digital copy (“rip”) of a DVD you own for playback on your iPod.
The “tools” prohibitions, set out in sections 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b), outlaw the manufacture, sale, distribution, or trafficking of tools and technologies that make circumvention possible. These provisions ban both technologies that defeat access controls, and also technologies that defeat use restrictions imposed by copyright owners, such as copy controls. These provisions prohibit the distribution of software that was designed to defeat CD copy-protection technologies, for example.
Section 1201 includes a number of exceptions for certain limited classes of activities, including security testing, reverse engineering of software, encryption research, and law enforcement. These exceptions have been criticized as being too narrow to be of use to the constituencies they were intended to assist.4
A violation of any of the “act” or “tools” prohibitions is subject to significant civil and, in some circumstances, criminal penalties.
Purpose of the Rulemaking
1. The task of this rulemaking is to determine whether the availability and use of access control measures has already diminished or is about to diminish the ability of the users of any particular classes of copyrighted works to engage in noninfringing uses of those works similar or analogous to those that the public had traditionally been able to make prior to the enactment of the DMCA. In examining the factors set forth in Section 1201(a)(1)(C), the focus is on whether the implementation of technological protection measures has had an adverse impact on the ability of users to make lawful uses.
July 26th, 2010
2. Section 201.40 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
201.40 Exemption to prohibition against circumvention. (b)Classes of copyrighted works. Pursuant to the authority set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), and upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian has determined that the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to persons who engage in noninfringing uses of the following five classes of copyrighted works:
(1)Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
(i)Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(2)Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.
(3)Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.
(4)Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:
(i)The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
(ii)The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law.
(5)Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.
(6)Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the read aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.
Dated: July 20, 2010
James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
For the full rulemaking order:
For more on the DMCA rulemaking: