Sunday, May 26, 2002

Keep your laws off my motherboard.

I'd like to believe that the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (which mandates copy protection in
all electronic devices) is so ridiculous that it can't possibly pass
into law. However, I'm not willing to take the chance. I've written a letter to California Senator Feinstein
(who is unfortunately one of the proponents), asking her to reconsider.
I'll also email, fax, and call her offices. I'm sending a similar letter
to Senator Boxer.

companion legislation
may soon be introduced into the House, I'm also contacting my Representative. We may soon have two bills to stop.

If you care about this issue, please contact your senators and representatives.
If you don't want to track them down yourself,
will do some of the work for you.


  1. On a cynical note, given Hollywood campaign contributions to
    the two Senators
    pointed out by the Republicans, who just seem annoyed that they're not getting any)
    it seems they're just following the money..

  2. That may be true, but it's hardly constructive to tell a politician
    "stop following the money." They'd just brush you off. Slightly better is convincing them that following this particular
    money could land the country in a heap of trouble which would be traceable back to them.
    What's really effective is showing them that following this particular money will get them voted out of office. Hence my entreaty for others to join in.

  3. I like how the CBDTPA states:
    (d) SECURITY SYSTEM STANDARDS. -- In achieving the goals of setting open security standards that will provide effective security for copyrighted works, the security system standards shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that --
    (1) the standard security technologies are --
    (A) reliable;
    (B) renewable;
    (C) resistant to attack;
    (D) readily implemented;
    (E) modular;
    (F) applicable in multiple technology platforms;
    (G) extensible;
    (H) upgradable;
    (I) not cost prohibitive; and
    (2) any software portion of such standards is based on open source code.
    This section had me rolling... If they manage to meet these criteria they will have accomplished something that all tech firms have been striving for since the early 50s. Very ambitious. I know I have trouble trying to meet just a few of these when designing a new application!

  4. Well, and "to the extent practicable" means that the same firms that have been telling us for years that they need obscurity for security through obscurity can again tell us that it's just not practical to have open standards for copy protection.
    "We won't do it" means it's not practicable.