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RE: [dvd-discuss] EFF: Security Researchers Drop Scientific Censo rship Case

Richard Hartman wrote:
> > >Security Researchers Drop Scientific Censorship Case
> > >
> > >Government, Industry Claim DMCA Not a Threat to Science
> > >
> > >San Francisco - Citing assurances from the government, the
> > >recording industry, and a federal court that the threats
> > >against his research team were ill-conceived and will not
> > >be repeated, Professor Edward Felten and his research team
> > >decided not to appeal the November dismissal of their case
> > >by a New Jersey Federal Court.
> They _believed_ them !??!? 

It would be difficult for the MPAA/RIAA etc to drag a researcher to court
now having stated that "we felt Felten should publish his findings, because
everyone benefits from research into the vulnerabilities of security

Not a legal precedent, but a fairly good public climbdown.

However, it does remind me of an amusing(?) scenario I dreamt up a little while

1) Wendy Seltzer and her hacker friends (hooray :-)) design a supa-dupa
   watermarking technology or maybe an access-control system.
2) James S. Tyre and his hacker friends (boo, hiss :-)) find weaknesses in it
   and plan to publish a paper on it.
3) Wendy issues a rude C&D against James citing all sorts of DMCA crap
   if he proceeds.
4) James drags Wendy to court over the issue. Seem familiar so far?
5) In a shock departure from the form book, Wendy presses ahead and doesn't
   climb down.
6) James (almost certainly) wins.
7) Wendy appeals (this gets it to court of appeals level, right?).
8) James (almost certainly) wins again.
9) Wendy appeals again (thus reaching the supreme court, right?).
10) James (almost certainly) wins yet again, and with luck the contentious
   parts of the DMCA get struck down as a side effect.

I chose James and Wendy for this gedankenexperiment because they are already
lawyers in their own rights and can probably run their own business in
court with only modest costs which (presumably) the EFF would be happy to

Hmm. Better pre-register freejamestyre.org as a precaution though... :-)


Steve Hosgood                               |
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