When I was in California, I went to Fry’s and was amazed to see that they were selling DVD Copy Plus, software which decrypts DVDs. Such software is illegal under the DMCA, and many people have lost in court for far lesser infractions. I couldn’t believe that software which so blatantly violated the DMCA was being sold in a major store like this. Cory noted that DVD Copy Plus’s author, 321 Studios was in the midst of litigation over the product.

Today, I saw someone using a Hotline tracking website (Hotline is a file sharing program, Hotline trackers keep track of which servers have which files) with a banner ad asking true Americans to protect fair use. It went to Protect Fair Use, which appears to be an activism organization started by 321 Studios.

They’re taking the position that fair use rights are important to protect, and that stomping on fair use rights is an unintended consequence of the DMCA. Naturally, they support Boucher and Lofgren’s bills (the DMCRA and the BALANCE act) which allow circumvention devices for fair uses.

It’s interesting to see a new activism organization in this area, especially one with such a fancy site.

In other news, Lessig is alive and blogging. I’m glad, because I missed reading his blog. He reveals that he’d submitted a petition for rehearing. It reads like one of his speeches:

Five justices of this Court have articulated a principle about the limits on Congress’s enumerated powers. […] It was upon the basis of this principle that [we] brought their challenge to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act [] in this Court. […]

[We] believe the cause is [our] own failure to make plain the profound harm to vital speech interests that this continued tolling of the public domain will effect. […]

Our hearts go out to him once again.

posted March 12, 2003 07:14 PM (Politics) #


Trip Report (cont.)
Valenti Remix
New Valenti Remix
Larry’s Keynote
House of Reprehensitives?
Protect Fair Use
Raging Platypus
Spectrum Reflections
How to Do Stuff
letters from a rogue state
where are the warmongers?

Aaron Swartz (me@aaronsw.com)