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ComputerWorld: Hearing spotlights clash between open source and copyright protection

May 24, 2000, 17:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ann Harrison)

"The U.S. Copyright Office conducted two days of contentious public hearings at Stanford University last week to consider legal exemptions that would permit some circumvention of copy-protection schemes. Supporters of such exemptions believe existing restrictions hinder development of open-source software, but opponents argue changes would unfairly allow outsiders to exploit protected work without compensating the authors."

"Companies and public interest groups offered testimony on which classes of works should be exempted under section 1201(a)(1) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Meanwhile, outside the building, members of the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group held a rally to protest the current policy, which, they say, restricts the fair use of copyrighted material and development of free open-source software."

"On first blush this looks to be about money, but it is about power," said Eric Raymond, president of the San Jose-based Open Source Initiative, who attended the rally. "Is power going to go to the information monopolies, or will it go to developers and users?"

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