[kwlug-disc] are you going to be a criminal?

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Fri Jun 4 14:46:11 EDT 2010

----- Original Message -----
> Discussion might help to focus on what the shortcomings of the bill
> are and - more importantly - what constructive suggestions we can
> make.

Let me float these ideas around. Do they make sense?

Digital lock anti-circumvention laws are bad because:

1. They allow corporate interest to supersede the rights of licensees granted in the Copyright Act and patent law,
    - They allow content holders to extent copyright life, or apply restrictions to public domain content,
    - A digital lock is forever, A company can extract royalties for the rights to access protected content for ever.

2. They provide a way for business to more easily obtain a monopoly on a technology,
    - Business will abuse the law in many ways to prevent competition or circumvent other laws or rights,

5. They will not prevent copying,
    - Pirates are often the first to circumvent digital locks, do so off-shore and distribute unlocked copies,

6. They encourage the use if inferior encryption technology,
    - Why use a suitable technology when the law can be applied to simple and easy to break locking schemes,

7. They pander to the foreign interest, not the public interest,
    - Large corporations are generally the beneficiary in this,
    - Licensees will lose some rights afforded by the Copyright Act,

8. They prevent free development of software,
    - Linux, used by all sizes of business, will be less powerful and less able to compete,

9. They are bad for local economies,
    - If forced to migrate from Linux and open source software, money for licenses and support will be sent to foreign companies, instead of local companies,
    - Local software developers whose products access protected content will have to pay royalties forever (beyond patent and copyright laws) to technology owners,

10. They can hold my own content hostage,
    - Digital locks on proprietary binary formats may be enforce on content like word processing documents, databases, or other data files making my own content a hostage of the software vendor.
    - Can I break a digital lock to try to recover my data from a corrupt file?

John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware 

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