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CNN/IDG: DVD and the digital copyright act

Feb 04, 2000, 18:35 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Bradner)

"The U.S. court system is beginning to enforce one of the more controversial provisions of the recent copyright protection legislation. It is far from clear whether the organizations that pushed for the inclusion of this provision ultimately will be badly hurt by its enforcement...."

"But if this prohibition is carried to its logical extreme, the act will outlaw the software that cryptographic researchers use to figure out if encryption algorithms are any good. Without this kind of testing, copyright holders might just pick an encryption algorithm that is even weaker than the current DVD one to try to protect even more valuable content. You not knowing that your protection is weak will not prevent others from finding out."

"Note also that the act only covers the U.S. - the DeCSS program was written outside of the U.S., so it is not directly subject to U.S. law. The U.S. courts may be able to prevent U.S.-based Web sites from knowingly making DeCSS available, but there will always be plenty of non-U.S. sites where it will remain available. And DeCSS will get posted periodically to newsgroups that will automatically distribute it to millions of U.S. Internet users."

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