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Re: [dvd-discuss] The 2nd Front

On Sun, 16 Dec 2001, Scott A Crosby wrote:

> On Sun, 16 Dec 2001, Jim Bauer wrote:
> >         [No person shall circumvent a technological measure for the purpose
> >         of copyright infringement that effectively controls access to a work
> >         protected under this title. The prohibition contained in the
> >         preceding sentence shall take effect at the end of the 2-year
> >         period beginning on the date of the enactment of this chapter. ]
> >
> Huh... Copyright infringement is already illegal. What does this clause
> do?

Adds an additional charge.  Much like the laws that slap on additional time
for committing a crime with a gun.

> Thats like saying that 'threatening someone with a plastic knife for
> purposes of robbery is illegal', when the act of robbery itself is already
> illegal, and has been for decades.

Yup.  Welcome to the world of making things "more illegal".  By passing laws
that make something already illegal "more illegal", the politicians can say
they've taken action.

Going back to the "digital crowbar" analogy for DeCSS that was bandied about
in court:  Owning a (steel) crowbar is legal.  Carrying a crowbar is legal.
Break-and-enter using it though, and you'll be changed with possession of
"theives' tools" in addition to breaking and entering.

Without the addition of the words "for purposes of copyright infringement"
(or maybe "with criminal intent"?), the DMCA bans digital crowbars outright,
because someone, somewhere, *might* use one to further some other illegal act.
Plus, not only can't you possess a digital crowbar, you can't tell someone
else where they can get one or how to make one.

With those words, digital crowbars are firmly legal again.