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[dvd-discuss]DMCA Excemption Hearings at UCLA Day 1 Part n of N

I attended the first day's hearings on DMCA exemptions at UCLA today. (Tomorrow 
I will not be attending.). This may take several emails to get the notes more 

General Comments

The panel is struggling with technology issues. Somethings they are starting to 
get right and other things not so. They are beginning to get right the issue of 
media formats vs data formats but not totally there. One can transfer the bits 
from one media to another but without the data format...it's still just 
bits...issues about embedded software they are becoming cognizant but not 
technosavvy... There were some surprises when one of the panel asked some 
questions about the red book formats for CDs.

The panel seems to be getting the idea that copy protection and access 
protection are somewhat intertwined...not quit there that to copy I must have 

In some ways they were ill disposed towards the presenters who gave legal 
arguments regarding burdens of proof or evidence...at one point, David Carson 
started pressing the RIAA attorney about a point of evidence (Jim Tyre was 
enjoying this exchange I might add) who replied that he was not going to state 
what he got in the course on evidence. 

Marybeth Peters is either a lousy poker player or the best. She tends to put 
her hands to her ears and occassionally to her mouth. When not interested she 
fades into the background but when interested she moves forward next to the 
microphone. At times she looks mighty puzzled and at other times she almost 

The RIAA attorney really does not have clue about technology.
The macrovision guy used so many metaphors that I had a hard time to keep from 
laughing out loud.

One point that S.Metalitz made during the censorware session was that they are 
doing their schtick for network security by  protecting us from websites that 
help propagate viruses and spam..Look! I was there.. I'm not making this up...

One thing I couldn't help but notice is the mixing of statistical statements 
into legal arguments. Also I would have loved to blow up the RIAA's argument 
that the complaint rate from copy protected CDs is no more than the normal rate 
of defectives....different mfg process dork...can you prove that you have the 
same rate of defective in copy protected CDs than in non copy protected CDS? 
Then the rates should be HIGHER not the same because the do not adher to the 
standard. Also that 9/125000 CDs had copy protection is an obvious statistical 
fallacy since those 9 probably had millions of copies and the other had 
thousands....the RIAA attornes would flunk any course I would teach in 

The whole notion of STANDARDS seems lost on the RIAA and macrovision presenters 
and nearly loston some of the panel members...a couple of exceptions.

BIG ISSUE...when do copy protection schemes become access control and when do 
they not. The RIAA representative was ill prepared to discuss that...they might 
be later..

More specific notes

I got there a bit late thanks to the eternal parking lots affectionatly known 
as the Los Angeles Freeway...and I still can't understand why anyone would buy 
a house on Sunset Blvd since it's four lanes and heavily traveled.

I caught most of Jim Tyre's presentation. Well Done

One sound bit moment was when the opponent stated that they "need concrete 
evidence of substantial impact"..and he stated that they were protecting us 
from SPAM and viruses...I could only roll my eyes and shake my head...So.....

On rebuttal Jim did a very good job illustrating that the claims that database 
query over the internet is inadequate by showing them some examples. Actually I 
took little notes because I just enjoyed hearing the exchange. Leading the 
panel through a database search that only allows 21 queries/day rather showed 
up the problem.

As for some of the claims made in DC that Seth F. hadn't decrypted the 

One Action Item that came out of this is that the LOC is struggling with the 
definition of "censorware" and any help would be appreciated...any ideas?


The next sesson was Brewster Kahle, Barbara Simmons, and George Ziemann. -S. 
Metalitz opposite

In looking at my notes I realized I took no notes during Brewster's 
presentation. I really enjoyed it. It was interesting to see some of the old 
tricks done in the 80s on disks and copy protection.. the clumsy dongles..but 
also to hear Brewster talk about the difficulties of dealing with them and 
their desire to preserve a part of our culture. He made the vital point that 
these are not books and one must adapt to that.again. the committee is 
struggling with technology...Also it hit home....I've got a copy of a CD that 
he showed...I couldn't make the thing work either! Joe Sixpack, my neighbor, 
may be a contributor to the archive after I tell his wife about it.

Barbara Simmons of the ACM then made their statement. The best was during 
rebuttal. Barbara was articulate in her concern. I do not think that the fact 
that a computer scientist displayed such concern yet frustration was lost upon 
the panel.

I did find myself getting a bit annoyed at S. Metalitz at continually stating 
that things need better definitions..obsolete, malfunction...obsolete meanss 
not supported (duhhhh) malfunction means it doesn't work...(duhhh) ..as a 
mathematician I am aware of that but the process of  precision is to eliminate 
ambiguity not codify the process so one has no definitions...as for his 
comments about preserving things as analog satisfies everything my only comment 
that I could write on my notes was "WHAT A MORON!"  ....Compared with the 
statement of ANY mathematical theorem, this is not an insurmountable task and 
if you haven't done it...that's your problem..


Session 3 

I will confess that his is one where I need to organize my notes and thoughts. 
I had a lot of interruptions while watching this.

General comments...

The RIAA hasn't a clue about technology...surprisingly neither does 
macrovision...they are merely enablers...

In some ways it was an Alice in Wonderland session...The EFF made good points. 
The RIAA blopped around siting bogus statistics and even stupider unerstanding 
of statistics and technology. The Guy from RIAA seemed totally ignorant of what 
anyone who has dealt this modified standards knows...you deviate and the 
chances of problems due to incompatibilities increases...duhhh....

One area where the EFF got into trouble was in how one might fix a broken 
copyright protection scheme...or rather circumvent it...felt markers...I think 
the committee was grappling with that as well

doubtless I may add more later but here's a quick summary albeit dinnerless