DeCSS ruling - more Freedom of Speech constraints

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Fri Feb 04 2000 - 04:44:00 MST

Thought you would be interested in the DeCSS ruling.
Ruling itself:

Quoting from the Slashdot intro:
  "finds that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which prohibits
   the publication of computer programs designed to circumvent copy
   protection) is constitutional"
  "computer source code is not ordinarily a form of expression, and
   that, even if it were, Congress could regulate it in order to serve
   other interests, such as the economic interest of copyright holders"

Hmmm, looks like Freedom of Speech is under a fair attack here.
Which from my perspective is bad, since the next steps would be
prohibiting the publication of a genome sequence that could synthesize
THC (or even extend your lifespan...). It also looks like this ruling
is going to run *smack* into the rulings allowing methods and code
for encryption *to* be published. Perhaps you can't publish the
DeCSS code, but you can write a book describing in intimate detail
how the algorithm works so that any reasonably skilled person can
write the code.

At any rate, it gets very messy very fast, since the code was
originally published in Norway and they don't have a "Digital
Millennium Copyright Act"... Will there be an increase in
"rogue" countries around the world that see the advantages
for ignoring the copyright regulations of other countries
(as Russia and China largely do now)? [And then how do
you cut them off from the net, since encryption allows you
to "encrypt" the stuff going over the links out of the
country so you have no idea if its email or illegal code...]

I still think there are many people who don't understand that
the troll isn't content to stay under the bridge any more.

As I and others have pointed out, the best model is to produce
the "copyrighted works" cheaply enough that it eliminates the
incentive to "steal" work. Related to this is some discussion
from Business 2.0:

Got coffee?

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