The Supreme Court says that copyright requires "escape valves" like fair use to comply with the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of expression. Fair use -- and its non-US cousin, Fair Dealing -- allows people to make new works from copyrighted materials without permission, especially when it comes to political speech that transforms a political message in order to criticize it. But once DRM is in the picture, your ability to exercise this key right -- without which copyright itself is at odds with the Constitution -- depends on permission from the people you want to criticize. The ability to bypass DRM is critical to squaring copyright with free expression.

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