The Future End of Classic Computing

From: Wayne M. Smith <>
Date: Fri Mar 29 13:06:12 2002

> In a message dated 3/29/02 12:50:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
> > The classic computing hobby aside, The CBDTPA is stupid on a number of
> > levels. Most electronics manufacturers are against it, for example. They say
> > it will discourage innovation and slow the development of new products.
> > Civil libertarians oppose it for potential privacy issues and its likelihood
> > of impeding the free flow of information.

Electronics manufacturers want to sell product and are against any impediment to doing that, or anything that increases product
cost. Their motivations are identical to the software proprietors that some are so fond of demonizing. What they say is

> > By all means, contact your Congress critter if you want to express your
> > opposition. I suggest, however, that you bring up some of the more high
> > profile arguments against the bill as well as its impact on the hobby.
> >
> > The CBDTPA is not a done deal. Powerful forces are lined up on both sides,
> >
> OK, I just read the CBDTPA.. It'll never work even if it were to be passed
> and here's why...
> The act specifically says the security measures *shall not* prevent a legal
> owner from making a personal copy (presumably for backup perposes,etc..). If
> you can make a backup, you can trade it, etc, just like it is happening now...

I think the act is targeted at large-scale piracy operations and peer-to-peer file sharing systems, so you're right that it won't
against single instances of trading and it is doubtful that it is intended to. Hooray, the future end of the hobby is not in sight
after all.

> The second good reason it'll never work is they can't possibly enforce it.
> You can't subject other countries to US rules policies, and the act doesn't
> have any provision for open source or freeware, or PD goodies. The US nor
> any other country can effectively poliece/control the internet.

We subject other countries to US rules and policies all the time. One way is through negotiated treaties such as GATT. The other
way is through the broad jurisdictional reach of the courts via the commerce clause that allows suit to be filed against any foreign
company whose business has a foreseeable effect on U.S. commerce.

> Thirdly, you can't use a hardware decryption because there is no feasable way
> of that method working on all available platforms (and imagine the US saying
> to companies that they can't make such and such a product unless they install
> "our pre-approved security gizmo"), so you would have to use software..
> There's no way a software encryption/decryption would work because you could
> not possibly keep the code from leaking out or being reverse engineered.
> Lastly (at least how I see it) the act would invariably violate freedom of
> speach by dictating how and where we could express information.
The forces behind this legislation are not under the delusion that they can create crack-proof software, just as the DVD people
balanced cost versus the robustness of copy protection and chose a 40-bit scheme (CSS) that they knew could be and would eventually
be cracked. It's like buying "The Club" for your car as protection against theft. Everyone knows that you can saw through the
steering wheel and remove the club in a minute or two, but people still buy and use them because they make it a little bit harder to
steal your car.

> -Linc.
> In The Beginning there was nothing, which exploded - Yeah right...
> Calculating in binary code is as easy as 01,10,11.
Received on Fri Mar 29 2002 - 13:06:12 GMT

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