[clug] Against US-AU FTA Intellectual Property Clauses

Ian McCulloch ianmcc at lorentz.leidenuniv.nl
Fri Apr 9 16:55:27 GMT 2004

On Sat, 10 Apr 2004, Jepri wrote:

> Darren Freeman wrote:
> > On Fri, 2004-04-09 at 14:23, Jepri wrote:
> >>Darren Freeman wrote:
> > In particular, if reverse engineering is performed for security but the
> > reverse engineer didn't ask permission or was denied permission, they're
> > still toast. 17.4.7.e.ii.
> I cheer on the efforts of companies to crush anyone who is misguided 
> enough to perform free security analysis for a business.  If Microfost 
> and friends kick these people hard enough, they might switch to 
> analysing the security flaws in Linux, which will result in a more 
> stable, secure Linux for me.
> I would be quite happy to see this escape clause removed entirely.  Why 
> are these researchers like Felten wasting government money doing free 
> work for corporations anyway?
> I am sympathetic to your position, but draconian DMCA-style laws might 
> be a good thing.  The harder the RIAA makes it to listen to their songs, 
> the more likely that people will go listen to an alternative band.
> The more the MPAA cracks down on people, the more likely we won't bother 
> with their products, and they'll collapse.  Local productions will 
> flourish.  Local culture will be appreciated once more.  And best of 
> all, they're doing it to themselves.
> Long live the DMCA?

Sorry dude, this sounds just like "I support the Aristocracy and all 
their excesses because the more the peasants are opressed, the sooner the 
Revolution will come".

This would be an ingeneously pragmatic philosophy if you were a French 
peasant in the 1780's (although it would probably cost you your head), but 
it is a philosophy that is only going to be successful if it does in fact 
result in a Revolution.  If it doesn't, then you are just batting for the 
wrong side.

The MPAA is an association representing the big money movie studios in 
America.  Seriously, what are the chances that the MPAA will actually 
collapse in the forseeable future?  If a new age of 'digital freedom' does 
arise, then the MPAA will simply learn to live with it.  Of course they 
will continue to lobby for new laws that would increase their profits 
without caring about the implications for Freedom - but there is not 
really any way of preventing that, this has always been an issue and 
always will.  To paraphrase and misquote a famous security researcher, 
"Freedom is a process, not a product".

Even if the MPAA did, for whatever reason, suddenly 'collapse', what about 
the next big money industry assocation that took their place?  Should we 
support them too, in the expectation that, by giving them free reign to 
opress they too will eventually collapse?

Freedom will be won and maintained by opposing those that would take it 
away.  Not by supporting oppressive regimes in some misguided 
reverse-psycology hope that it will ultimately lead to their collapse.

Ian McCulloch

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