NY Times: Free Speech Rights for Computer Code?
Jul 31, 2000, 19:51 (0 Talkback[s])
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"It was perhaps the most arcane statement in all the hours of
acronym-filled testimony, one that came on the last day of the
six-day trial. But it may have been a turning point in an important
battle over the limits of a new copyright law, a potential landmark
case that ended its trial phase last week in Manhattan and now
awaits a verdict by the judge...."
"I see this as having a chilling effect on my ability as a
computer scientist to express myself," Professor Touretzky said. He
was referring to the court's preliminary injunction that barred a
Web site from posting the underlying, or source, code for the
cracking program. "If the court upholds this injunction, what
would happen is that certain uses of computer language -- my
preferred means of expression -- would be illegal."
"Until that moment in the trial, United States District Judge
Lewis A. Kaplan had appeared to have little doubt about the
copyright law's constitutionality. In ordering the injunction, he
had noted that the First Amendment does not shield copyright
infringement, and that computer code was essentially "no more
expressive than an automobile ignition key."
"But in light of the professor's testimony, Judge Kaplan said,
he would reconsider his constitutional analysis. It would be hard
to make a case "that computer code of any kind has no expressive
content," the judge said. "Which then gets you to the question of
how then do you deal with it under the First Amendment?"
- Eric Raymond: Two Faces and Big Lies(Jul 30, 2000)
- NY Times/AP: DVD Trial Testimony Ends(Jul 26, 2000)
- EFF.org: DVD Update: EFF Detonates Mind Bomb in Court on Final Day of DVD Trial(Jul 26, 2000)
- LinuxWorld: Inside the DeCSS trial - Judge acknowledges uselessness of injunction against Corley(Jul 25, 2000)
- The Register: Mythology dominates MPAA strategy in DVD trial(Jul 25, 2000)
- EFF.org: DVD Update - REVEALED: DeCSS Led to Competing Linux DVD Player(Jul 24, 2000)
- EFF.org: DVD Update: Johansen Shines on Witness Stand in Defense of his Software(Jul 24, 2000)
- Wired: Teen [DeCSS] Hacking Idol Hits Big Apple(Jul 21, 2000)
- Salon.com: Code on trial(Jul 20, 2000)
- EFF.org: DVD Update: Universal City Studios v. 2600 Magazine, Day 3(Jul 20, 2000)
- 32BitsOnline: Outsmarting DVD Security Was Easy, DMCA Trial Told(Jul 20, 2000)
- EFF.org: DVD Update: Movie Studios Admit DeCSS Not Related to Piracy(Jul 19, 2000)
- EON.Law.Harvard.edu: John Young's First Hand account of DeCSS trial(Jul 19, 2000)
- ZDNet: DeCSS in court: DVDs can be cracked(Jul 18, 2000)