[linux-elitists] An Open Letter to Don Marti

Jay Sulzberger jays@panix.com
Sat Dec 23 00:19:16 PST 2000

On Fri, 22 Dec 2000, Seth David Schoen wrote:

> Aaron Lehmann writes:
> > When are you going to start battling the Evil Hard Disk Cabal (As Seen
> > On Slashdot(TM))?
> When Don Marti battled the CPRM standard
> He wrote an open letter to the ATA T13 Committee
> And made the OEMs keep John Hoy out of my hard drive

The arrangement of data on my hard disk, including pointers to copyrighted
material, is itself a copyrightable thing.  To interfere with my free use
of my own machine in creating this work of art, which I might sell,
grossly violates both the old copyright laws, and the new DMCA, and the
old laws on conversion, interference, etc., and the new law of the UCITA.

This is not a joke.  The situation is symmetrical.  I do not have the
right to interfere with the MPAA's use of its machine, why down to the
pattern of bits on the drive!, and the MPAA has no right to run programs
on my machine which interfere with my sweaty, legal term of art here,
creation of patterns on my hard disk.  See President-Elect Bush's
great-uncle Vannevar's discussion of this.

Of course, it would be much fun to see the MPAA/RIAA/Old Court of
Versailles/Central Rites and Music Administration of the Yellow
Emperor/God-Scribe-Masters of the Sacred Clay of the Phantast's Hydraulic
Arrangement try to introduce universal donglification on a scale of
billions of machines.  I believe the best hope for the Divine Right of
No-Copyists here is to stage a coup in the Once Upon a Time Red Russian
Empire, and restore the Communist regime.  Then, again by symmetry, the
United States will be less embarrassed to impose Communist/Warner/Disney
restraints and tracking of Xerox machines, both senses, the odd
electrostick analog things and the bizarrely deformed collateral scions of
the old Smalltalk systems.



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