Subject: RE: new expanded DMCA-like law
To: Thomas Michael Wanka <>
From: David Lawler Christiansen \(NT\) <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/11/2001 11:58:46

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thomas Michael Wanka []=20
> Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 9:13 PM

> Austrian IT related media published following this summer:
> WinXP will be shipped with software integrated, that will make it=20
> impossible to reproduce music files (like MP3) that have no=20
> copyprotection even when 3rd party software players are installed=20
> (resulting in a cry from the MP3 community that they will not use=20
> XP).=20

Not true, to my knowledge.  Windows Media Player has some kind of
copy-protection wackiness in place, but I'm not aware of any measures to
actively prevent the user from installing other software to do the
ripping. =20

> Market observers said companies should not upgrade to XP=20
> anywhere soon.=20

This is, respectfully, a non-statement.  "Market observers" say this
about every OS release (Microsoft or otherwise; we're just the ones who
get the press)-- no company of scale should ever immediately upgrade to
any new operating system without first researching whether the OS meets
their needs and is worth the money, time and trouble involved.  Research
and internal rollouts take time, and upgrading to a new software just
because it's new is just bad business.

> If I understood it correctly, with such laws, older=20
> versions of windows (and other OS!) would become illegal, forcing=20
> people to upgrade to XP and its hated registration sheme. To my=20
> understanding, public available sourcees would become illegal too,=20
> as they allow the deactivation of the copyprotection parts.

Congress is forbidden to pass ex-post-facto laws.  It's in the
constitution.  If you own a computer today with non-compliant software
on it, you're not breaking the law, even if you sell that computer to
someone else.  I remember seeing a clause in the bill expressly enabling
this, too.  So my assessment is that, no, you would not have to upgrade
to XP just to fulfill this requirement. =20

Out of curiosity (and not to troll-- if you want to flame me, reply
off-list :-)), what's your beef with registration, exactly?  There's
been a lot of FUD about this in the press; most of it is crap.  Even the
two Russians who reverse-engineered it (don't have the URL handy) said
they did not see a privacy risk from Activation.  I don't like
copy-protection code, but as copy-protection goes, this is pretty

This said, I agree with you that publicly available sources would then
become illegal for not only the reason you list but also because, as I
understand it, most of the secure music standards out there are
obfuscation-based.  Look at DeCSS. =20

> mike