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DCMA goes to court

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In their case against the government over violation of the DCMA, Elcomsoft plans to argue that the law doesn’t apply to them since they are a Russian firm and not bound by US laws. That seems like a reasonable arguement.

What I would rather see, though, is someone argue against the DCMA on the grounds that it outlaws software devices that are capable of circumventing copyrights even if such devices have legitimate uses as well. Using that logic, we should ban copy machines, scanners, and VCRs.

The prevailing logic in the US seems to be that if a technology makes it easy to commit a criminal act, then the technology should be banned.

More people are murdered by stabbing and beating than by guns, but guns make it easy to kill, so Congress has been restricting and outlawing them.

Personal Video Recorders like ReplayTV make it easy to copy movies, so TV execs are suing them.

And even though ElcomSoft’s eBook decrypter would allow a blind person to use their eBooks in an audio reader, it can also be used to make illegal copies, so it has been outlawed as well.


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