[linux-elitists] Legitimate crypto circumvention examples

Bulent Murtezaoglu bm@acm.org
Thu Aug 2 15:35:19 PDT 2001


Off the top of my head, and without reading your references:

    KMS>     There is obviously no real point in people expending
    KMS> time, effort and money in developing 'copy protection
    KMS> technology' if means of circumnavigating it are going to be
    KMS> freely, and legally, available.

Prevention of casual and illegal copying has always been hard.
Copy protections and such are just imperfect means of raising
obstacles for non-determined individuals.  As the successful shutting
down of widespread illegal copying via napster illustrates,  the 
copyright owners are not powerless.  So the implicit premise of 
copy protection being essential is not a given.  Furthermore it isn't
clear that copy protection does not impede fair use.  

    KMS> And:
    KMS>     The 'circumvention tool' exists only to circumvent the
    KMS> author's attempt to protect material from being copied.  If
    KMS> that protection is valid in law, then, as I keep saying, it
    KMS> makes little sense to me for means of circumventing it being
    KMS> legal.

I have trouble understanding this.  What goes by name 'copy
protection' is actually a whole slew of other restrictions that impede
perfectly legal (under my understanding of the Copyright law)
behaviours.  Therefore unless there are contracts that go beyond
copyright law, "circumvention tools" will have legal uses.  We ought
to be very careful when we talk about "protections" being valid in law.  
What the DMCA in its present form does and does not entail is being 
decided via several ongoing court cases.  If what I said so far makes
sense, then you can invoke a baby with the bathwater kind of argument 
for premature passing of hard-to-reverse laws.

If you feel like resorting to slight intellectual dishonesty and if
you have the crowd that'll swallow it, badmouth the industry by using
the example of you having to buy the same performance of Beethoven's
Nth for $15 on $.25 vinyl, for $10 on $.25 tape, and for $17.50 on
$.05 CD.  Did they offer you refunds on the second and third purchases
of the same thing? (the scores of which came from the public domain
that they effectively killed).

I'm a foreigner who prolly misunderstands 70% of the legal system 
here, so grains (or tons) of salt recommended.

Having volunteered uneducated opinions, I'll now go read the links 
you provide.

cheers,

BM



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