The Future End of Classic Computing

From: Doc <>
Date: Mon Apr 1 18:52:14 2002

On Mon, 1 Apr 2002, Douglas H. Quebbeman wrote:

> Doc's response seems to be typical- it sounds so outrageous
> that there's no way it could happen.

  Excuse me? My response was that if we don't mobilize en masse, and
quickly, it _will_ happen.

  The Digital Millenium Copyright Act was no less ridiculous, and is now
Federal law. In the many times that law has been invoked, not one case
has involved the mass distribution pirates its proponents claimed to
target. Most have been people like Dmitri Slyarov, who simply dared to
speak out, and to demonstrate that ownership of an idea is moot.

  The Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act - UCITA bill - is
even more ludicrous, and is now law in two states. A roaring
grass-roots campaign against UCITA was credited with stopping it in

  All three bills, proposed or passed, have in common that they are
unenforceable, that they target and penalize the consumer in favor of
specialized corporate interests, that they are blatantly
unconstitutional in spirit if not in their letters, and that most of
their opponents do not take them seriously enough to act.

  The other thing these bills all have in common is that the special
interest groups who buy their introduction into our legislative system
will continue to pay for their reintroduction until their puppets are
censured in a way that matters. In cash, and in criminal prosecution.

  Douglas, I expect that the mis-attribution was a benign mistake, so I
want to make it clear that I'm not jumping down your throat. But I WILL
NOT be misunderstood in this.
  The very possibility of a travesty like the CBDTPA becoming the law of
the land is my worst nightmare come to life.
  It has nothing to do with my computers, my music recordings, or
my movies.
  It has everything to do with the idea that any coalition with enough
cash and lawyers can today buy any oppression of the people that they
desire, with impunity, and without any need to even disguise their

  The contemplation of that truth literally moves me to tears, and to a
despair that borders on rage.

Received on Mon Apr 01 2002 - 18:52:14 BST

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