[linux-elitists] crazy DMCA question

martin dempsey mjd@digitaleveryware.com
Thu Jul 26 12:30:21 PDT 2001

As I understand it, the DMCA bans anyone creating/selling/trafficing
in software that can strip the protection from material that is
copyrighted and protected by some technical method. It makes *no*
qualifications as to the encryption or protection method used. Good or
bad, new or old, public or proprietary all methods of protecting
content are equally protected.

Could I take a document and put it into a standard non-password
protected zip archive and claim that was my method of protecting my
copyright? Then release the .zip data file of my copyrighted material
with my own small unzipping program that would require a hard-coded
password before unzipping the file.

If I then put the feds on notice like Adobe did, would the feds have
to stop "criminals" from selling or giving away .zip programs like
unzip, pkzip.exe etc. After this, under the DMCA would anyone selling
or giving away a standard zipping program be at risk of jail?

Can the DMCA, as written, be this screwy or am I missing something?

If this *would* work under the DMCA, should we do it?

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