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Linux Journal: Linux and DeCSS: What the MPAA is Really After

Feb 06, 2000, 01:00 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bryan Pfaffenberger)

"Next time you think about going to see a feature film, remember this: attorneys from the MPAA and its ally, the DVD Copy Control Authority, are beating up on hackers and ISPs the world over. Their complaint? Those targeted have posted or linked to DeCSS, a Linux utility that enables Linux users to play back legally purchased DVD video discs on their systems."

"If you think these lawsuits are bogus, you'd better think twice. The same organization's lobbyists played a pivotal role in several key U.S. legislative acts that transformed copyright infringement into a crime with penalties akin to second-degree murder. What's more, they could very well win the lawsuits they've filed; after all, the MPAA's lobbyists were given virtually free reign to write the very laws they're citing in these lawsuits, including the DMCA. And the MPAA has already won the opening skirmishes. Hackers can only hope that, somewhere along the way, judges will come to their senses and perceive the truth: namely, that the MPAA-backed legislation pushes the rights of copyright holders to an unconstitutional extreme. In what follows, I'll trace this outrage back to its roots--the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)--and show you just what's at stake."

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