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RE: DeCSS Injunction
This was a _federal_ court that granted the injunction, and if the
court decides that reverse-engineering (regardless of what DMCA
states) is illegal then the Linux community is in for a long, bumpy
ride to reverse that decision. The California state court decision only
affects the residents of that state, while this decision affects us all.
Unfortunately, our government has proven that it's more willing to
listen to business interests than it is to listen to it's own citizens
(after all citizens don't make million dollar compaign contributions).
If things like this are allowed to go unchallenged then I guarentee
you we'll lose much more than the right to reverse-engineer
software. Imagine, if you will, such things as interface patents,
cease-and-desist programming orders, trade secret law, and
intellectual property police. These things are not too far off from
what I can see in the industry today.
Also, if DeCSS is demed illegal then what do you think will happen
to software that uses it (such as LiViD)? I'm sure the courts won't
see much difference between the two. The "They can't stop it." argument
also doesn't hold much water either because the resulting disaster will
make life on the Internet practialy unbearable should they every really
put their mind to trying. I would prefer not to try and fall back on that
as a defense.
Here's some more links for those interested:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Licquia [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Friday, January 21, 2000 12:39 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: 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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