"Source code is speech. Computer networks are the
fastest-growing medium of public and private expression; our rights
and liberties, as we engage in commerce and in other forms of
discourse via that medium, are protected by instructions to
computers. Source code is the means by which these instructions are
expressed in ways that people can examine and understand. Source
code is speech."
"On the Internet, there can be no genuine freedom of speech
unless source code is a protected form of speech. This principle is
attacked, however, by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in his
ruling earlier today that "society must be able to regulate the use
and dissemination of code." The judge then enjoined Eric Corley,
publisher of 2600 magazine, from assisting his readers in accessing
code that unlocks DVD content."
"The Supreme Court has already laid the foundation for
reversal of this ruling, in Justice Stevens' majority opinion
striking down the Communications Decency Act of 1996. That
opinion described the discourse of the Internet as a "dynamic,
multifaceted category of communication ... as diverse as human
thought," and included the vital statement that other cases
involving other forms of mass communication provide "no basis for
qualifying the level of First Amendment scrutiny that should be
applied to this medium."
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