[clug] Against US-AU FTA Intellectual Property Clauses

Darren Freeman daz111 at rsphysse.anu.edu.au
Mon Apr 12 03:57:50 GMT 2004

On Sat, 2004-04-10 at 02:03, 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 think the problem is that if independent people don't show up people
like Microsoft to be insecure, people will assume they looked and
couldn't find anything. Whereas the recent spate of Linux kernel root
exploits could be interpreted not as an effort to secure the kernel in
an open way, but rather as proof that Linux is full of holes.

Giving people like Microsoft a way of putting people in gaol will give
them what they need to announce their security campaign complete, and
look, nobody is finding any more holes. Because they're all in solitary

> 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?

It's work *against* lazy corporations. It's just like when reviewers
test new hardware and publish the results. Only with this kind of
testing you give the company a heads-up on a problem they ought to be
able to fix easily.

I would prefer to never again receive a single email worm originating
from a Windows box. This would ideally be because everybody left M$ for
dead, but in the near future we will be seeing lots of critical
infrastructure still using their hole-riddled products. We all suffer
because people use insecure software, proprietary or otherwise.

> > It's a matter of oppinion as to whether nobody cares about it. And I
> > think I'm close enough in my post to have gotten the point across. You
> > didn't disagree with the other 90% of what I said, although I invite you
> > to if you like...
> Well, here goes.  I support copyright laws.  I am not a corporate drone.

As do I, after all the GPL is one way to exercise your rights to your
work. Many people chose other ways, and they have every right to.

> I am probably one of the few people on the list who has actually issued 
> a Cease & Desist against a company using my work unfairly, and made them 
> stop.  Just occaisionally, these evil, unfair, twisted, unnatural, 
> perverted, American laws actually really do help individual developers.

what about the rest of the time when you are forbidden to tinker?

> 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 alternative is that the masses ignore the laws completely and the
authorities silently collect ammo for future lawsuits on everybody.

> 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.

Local productions might be foolish or ignorant enough to release
encrypted DVDs. The problem then remains that they can only be played on
MPAA-approved equipment.

Only when a wide audience understands the problem will they change their
behaviour. And us Linux users will still go to gaol for watching DVDs we
paid good money for, local or otherwise.

At present there is no motivation for TiVo to release an Australian
service, the market is too small. They haven't done anything wrong
against us, they just can't afford it yet. The fact that hacking one
would be criminal is itself enough of a worry, even though they probably
wouldn't push charges.

What happens if SCO purchases TiVo in a few years and puts all open
source developers who are also TiVo hackers in gaol because they hacked
the TiVo with implicit consent? The FTA would require them to get some
kind of water-tight authorisation to prevent this from happening. The
chances of that happening are slim.

> Long live the DMCA?

I sincerely hope not.

>  >>Aaagh!  The sky is falling!  Aaagh!  Aaagh!  ASIO is reading my mail
>  >>because only I know the truth!  Aaagh aaagh aagh!  My toes are plotting
>  >>to kill me while I'm asleep!
>  >
>  > Now that's just plain rude, dude. Say it to my face.
> My bad.  It was supposed to be humour.  I'll include some smileys next 
> time.  I don't seriously think you are in tinfoil beanie land, but I do 
> think you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

As a consumer I will naturally hold the consumer end of the stick.
You're welcome to hold the other. Only with a balanced force exerted on
the stick will it not fly off in either direction and through a window.

Have fun,

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