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Re: [dvd-discuss] The Touretsky and Shamos debate at CMU.

The counter argument is that the code itself is not illegal since 
possession of it is not a crime, then if the crime becomes 
distributing it that is censorship pure and simple. Rather than the 
proverbial "possession is 9/10s of the law" we have it's zero.

Date sent:      	Sat, 1 Dec 2001 11:46:55 -0500 (EST)
From:           	Scott A Crosby <crosby@qwes.math.cmu.edu>
To:             	David Wagner <daw@mozart.cs.berkeley.edu>
Copies to:      	<dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
Subject:        	Re: [dvd-discuss] The Touretsky and Shamos debate at CMU.
Send reply to:  	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu

> On 1 Dec 2001, David Wagner wrote:
> > Scott A Crosby  wrote:
> > [...]
> > >What Shamos claims is that it is wrong to distribute things with
> > >functional aspects. Shamos says that instead, one should just make
> > >sure to distribute it as something that DOESN"T have functional
> > >aspects.
> > [...]
> >
> > In my declaration, I argue that oftentimes, code is a useful form of
> > communication precisely because it is functional: it is useful
> > because it is precise & unambiguous, and it is precise & unambiguous
> > because of its functional nature.  (Computer tolerate no ambiguity,
> > so writing in code is an effective way to avoid ambiguity.)
> >
> His refutation of it is that you can easily avoid 'breaking the law'
> by not distributing code. The law doesn't have to mold itself to your
> convenience.
> Personally, I am far more interested in the non-viability of the
> exemption of research.
> I'd have to 'get the authority of the copyright holder'---a small and
> bitchy hoop to go through--- to get the exemption, but, nobody, not
> myself, not the DVD/CCA, or digital-CP (HDCP)  can assure me that I
> have that authority, first, because the scheme may not be deployed
> yet, or, who knows who ELSE might distribute something. Say, I get
> disney's permission? I can still get sued by AOL, or any two-bit
> company that won't be founded for 15 years. Thus, this would
> effectictivly chill ALL research in ALL practical and deployed
> systems.
> Thats one of the things I realized after talking to Catherin Copetas,
> and confirmed after hearing Shamos; they can basically refute most of
> the arguments we're coming up with by `The law doesn't have to mold
> itself to your convenience', or, 'nobody says that a law has to make
> sense or be understood for it to be the law'.
> IMHO, the most straightforward way to get rid of the DMCA is
> legistlatively.
> Scott