Subject: Re: new expanded DMCA-like law
To: Thomas Michael Wanka <>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/11/2001 08:14:41
In message <3B9DAB5B.21909.1BFF3C76@localhost>, "Thomas Michael Wanka" writes:
>On 10 Sep 2001, at 11:51, David Lawler Christiansen (NT) wrote:
>> Microsoft would *not* have a field day with this, even though it might
>> benefit us in the short term.  Microsoft (in general) hates it when
>> government attempts to interfere with the software industry.  This law
>> would do exactly that.  If you don't believe me, consider this: the
>Austrian IT related media published following this summer:
>WinXP will be shipped with software integrated, that will make it 
>impossible to reproduce music files (like MP3) that have no 
>copyprotection even when 3rd party software players are installed 
>(resulting in a cry from the MP3 community that they will not use 
>XP). Market observers said companies should not upgrade to XP 
>anywhere soon. If I understood it correctly, with such laws, older 
>versions of windows (and other OS!) would become illegal, forcing 
>people to upgrade to XP and its hated registration sheme. To my 
>understanding, public available sourcees would become illegal too, 
>as they allow the deactivation of the copyprotection parts.

The new bill permits resale of computers and systems that were legally 
manufactured before the law goes into effect.
>The music industry announced, that several hundreds of thousands 
>CDs with a copyprotection system had been sold the last year that 
>should make digital copies have a dramatic quality loss. (This is 
>illegal in europe, as many countries allow copies of copyrighted 
>material for private use.)

While I'm not an expert on European law, that last sentence strikes me 
as unlikely.  You may have a right to make such a copy for private use 
-- in general, you do in the U.S., too -- but you may not have the 
ability to do so.  One thing the DMCA did was to ban software that 
blocked copying -- the act of copying might be legal, but the tools to 
do so effectively aren't!  In Europe, under current law (based on my my 
reading of recent EU proposals) both copying and the tools are legal.  
But companies are still, in general, allowed to try to prevent you 
from  making copies; they just don't have the force of law behind them.

		--Steve Bellovin,