|FROM ||Ruben I Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Content Control and Boucher
|From owner-hangout-desteny-at-mrbrklyn.com Wed May 8 05:46:13 2002
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From: Ruben I Safir
Subject: [hangout] Content Control and Boucher
In-Reply-To: <014101c1f62e$0a6c9020$b6569fac-at-oemcomputer> from Tony Stanco at
"May 7, 2002 09:16:49 pm"
To: Tony Stanco
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 05:46:09 -0400 (EDT)
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Reply-To: Ruben I Safir
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I feel like I'm missing some of this conversation
somewhere, but instead of answering every subparagraph
of this conversation, let me just try to focus on a few
doable points, and how I think we need to procede.
It's now early in the morning and I just came home from an
NY Fair Use meeting and we have been actually discussing this
in detail over the last few hours.
First, let us look at the threat that the Hollings Bill and
the DMCA present to Free Software. Even under the DMCA, if the
major manufactorers chose to end free software, they can simply
by running encryption on any copyrighted part of the system,
especially, the system BIOS. Simply, the machines can be constructed
in such a way, that booting anything other than an approved opperating
system would be a felony under the DMCA. If you listen to the DMCA
fair use exemption hearings at the LOC, this becomes clear. It's just
a matter of time when this is implemented. Such is the nature of the world.
When the ATM machines first came out, banks begged people to use them
instead of tellers because of the cost savings. Immediately an issue came up
if such a service would be changed for. And initially they didn't change for
the service until they paved the way for the public to accept a $2 fee for
every ATM transaction. Eventually, it has happened, and today it's nearly
impossible to use an ATM, or the bank for that matter, without this additional
The same will happen with copyrighted bios. Today the public would be outraged
if MS and Intel prevented other OS's from being installed on the system.
But already MS is re-educating the public about the property rights of their
PC, and making claims that only their OS is authorized on machines (see the
recent flap about schools getting donated systems on slashdot). MS is moving
rapidly to a model of "OS assurance" and "Automatic upgrades" in the name of
security and content management protection.
The Hollings bills, by whatever name they are this week, are legal enforcement
mandating the worse case senerio of the DMCA. It will end Free Software the
moment it is passed because it demands secret control of your system to protect
copyright monopoly franchises. Free Software can't be secret...
So now the issue is, now that these bills, and other legislative and
regulartory activities are removing the basic property rights, and
free speach rights, of PC owners, what do we do.
Strangley enough, we MUST stop chasing out tail.
We tend to respond (ineffectively I might add) to one ruling and bill after the
next. And we have to broaden our constituency.
Tony pointed out, quite correctly, that the Hollings bill is ultimately
a starting point of for re-eduation of the public and a negoiating point for
the assult on the 4th and 1st ammendments. And, as I can see it, the courts
are not prepared to uphold the publics interest in the face of legistlation
which prevents wiretapping and property damage to privately owned computers
with regard to monopoly franchises. We need to go on the offensive and turn
the tables. We need to control that language used in debate and discussion
of these issues, and we need to proactively present bills which redifine
Copyright in statutary law. For one thing, we need to alway publically
say, that is a law is passed, which prevent your full use to enjoy information
legally aquired through purchase or borrowing, that is just like as if
someone knocked down your door and stole your computer, music and books.
We need to say it imediately, constant and often, because this is JUST what
Adboe and Time-Warner said accessing a DVD does. They litterly say we're
stealing. So we need to turn it around and point out that if someone
does actually break into your house and steal all your DVD's that the
individual calls the cops and reports the theft, not Time-Warner.
In addition, we need to introduce a new bill which will protect fair use
and property rights. The bill, if crafted correctly, will fortify the courts
in protecting individuals against 4th amendment abuses, defuse the DMCA and end
a whole slew of unethical activities by executive branch of government,
Jeanne Thewell, who is someone I would trust my life with, is a lawyer working
with NY Fair Use to draft such a bill. (thelwell-at-mindspring.com).
The broad outline of the bill is as follows:
The legislation to be drafted will accomplsih the following main stream objectives which
all reasonable people can expect:
All copyrights to individual scores, writings, and recordings will be returned to the
original artist after a period of 10 years.
No technology can be deployed which spies on, wiretaps or descloses privately owned information
which is stored on digital devices by any government agency or private 3rd party without the
issuance of a publically pronounced annd disclosed warrant l limited to a specific criminal
All copyright cases must prove, prior to a judgement of guilt, proof that the actions in question
did not infringe on Fair Use, and the individuals rights under the 4th and 1st ammendment of the Bill
of rights US Constition.
Ownership of all physical media and devices to read such media, is the sole property of the purchaser
of the media, without an expressely negotiated and signed contract between both the copyright holder
and the purchaser.
No technological software or hardware method can be deployed in a digital product available for normal
retail sale which inhibits in any way the full enjoyment of the property by the purchasers, regardless of
any agreement between the designer of the hardware or software products. Such agreements are null, and
Copyright is an exception to Fair Use as it limited the ability for individuals to enjoy their private
property and express themselves with the use of such copyrighted materials. Fair Use is a doctrin to be
based on the 4th and 1st amendments of the Constitutions.
Individuals have the right to express themselves to others about the means, mechanism and workings of
all digital devices, including but not limited to discussion on how to make fair use of media, how to
improve such devices, or to reverse engineer all such devices and the allgorithims which are used to
help them display, copy or run media.
We need to get as many big guns on this as possible and then relentlessly campaign, actively working to
elect supporters and unelect opposition. In fact, we should look to defeat, not just the proposed spyware
legistlation, but also defeat Senator Hollings
WE CAN force him from office, because he's a radical.
Finally, the issue of developing friends and allies.
They have to be cultivated. Boucher is not powerful by himself, but if
we get Weiner to become vocal on this issue as well, we WILL turn the tied,
especially since Weiner was Chuck Schumers chief of staff. Right now, we need
to find him, where ever he speaks, and ask him about this issue, over and over
ALL POLITICS is LOCAL.
I'd love to expand on how to target a congressmen. It's got to be done
like Tammany Hall, machine politics, in the neighborhoods, and focusing on
not only software, but the effects on education, libraries and wiretapping!
New Yorker Linux Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....