"When Movie Moguls Wage War to Protect Copyright, the First
Amendment Ends Up on the Cutting Room Floor."
"In the world of Martin Garbus, we are all teachers and he is
the student. This at least partly explains why an otherwise
innocent DVD player lies in pieces on the coffee table in his
Madison Avenue law office. The teacher today is Chris DiBona,
prominent evangelist of the open-source creed-the belief that
computer code, like speech, wants to be free."
"DiBona is teaching Garbus, who only recently learned how to
work his own e-mail, why a miniscule bit of silicon in this
player-and an equally miniscule program built to bypass it-have
sparked a federal case that will determine whether we pass through
the digital age with the First Amendment intact."
"As DiBona speaks, pointing at various organs in the innards of
the DVD player, Garbus leans forward and listens intently. Very
intently. You can almost hear the sound of files shifting and
expanding inside Garbus's cerebrum. The force of this man's
concentration could bend spoons, or laws. "I chose this life so I
could forever remain a student," Garbus says, in a not-infrequent
display of mock humility."
"This life, as it happens, has also allowed Garbus to remain a
high-profile rebel. Perhaps the closest thing in New York to a
modern-day Daniel Webster, Garbus has made a living by fighting the
dark side in all its forms. A laundry list of Garbus's clients
reveals a Zelig-esque talent for being on the right side of the
right fight at the right time. Garbus fought for Lenny Bruce in
'64, for Timothy Leary in '66, and against Alabama governor George
Wallace in '68. A few years later he hid the Pentagon Papers in his
attic for reporter Daniel Ellsberg. He has argued before the
Supreme Court on 20 occasions, winning each time. Garbus has fought
to protect the copyright of work by Samuel Beckett, Robert Redford,
Al Pacino, and John Cheever."
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