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Re: DeCSS Injunction

On Fri, Jan 21, 2000 at 10:19:58AM -0600, Burke, Jason wrote:
> If 2600.org isn't on your list of daily stops then you proabably
> missed this one... http://www.2600.com/news/2000/0121.html

It's on Slashdot as well, at least.  Slashdot also carries a link
to a rather nice reply to the demand letter.

> Nice to know that big business can screw over the little guy so
> easily. Also, if DeCSS and LiViD are something you want to see
> working on Linux then I suggest people get involved and write
> their congressman/woman, and senators with a formal complaint.

Not that that isn't a good idea, but I don't think I'd get too alarmed
just yet.

There are several factors working against the MPAA in this fight:

 - Many countries in the world don't have an equivalent of the
   Digital Millenium Copyright Act.  Development can continue
   (and likely will) there without fear.  Apart from the MPAA
   attempting to make it illegal to download software from those
   countries, there isn't much that can be done to stop it.

 - The DMCA contains a specific exemption to its terms for software
   designed to allow interoperability of a properly licensed product.
   Since the purpose of LiViD is to write a DVD player for Linux, it
   falls under this clause.  DeCSS may have a short life (as it
   doesn't allow you to play DVDs), but the important stuff from
   DeCSS is already in LiViD, which makes DeCSS moot.

 - If too many California residents get involved in these kinds of
   frivolous lawsuits, I'm sure a group of Linux people will sue
   under California's SLAPP statutes, which state that a defendent
   can sue for simply being the target of frivolous lawsuits.  One
   form of relief that can be granted is a restraining order
   forbidding the defendant from suing the plaintiff.

IANAL, of course, but it seems to me that the MPAA is about to get
acquainted with the same clue stick that just finished whacking the
RIAA, Scientology, the supporters of the Communications Decency Act,
and other silly attempts at preventing people from doing things on
the Internet.  

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