"Any content-producing company, through the DMCA . . . can
convert their ownership of content into control of the devices that
play it back," summarized Eric Scheirer, an analyst with Forrester
Research. "The Washington Post could decide to encrypt your
articles and say, 'Netscape is not granted the authorization to
play back these articles.' "
"Last week's ruling turned on this interpretation. DeCSS has
legitimate uses--a group of programmers is using this code to
develop an open-source DVD player program for Linux--but U.S.
District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan disregarded them. "He simply chose
to ignore everything we said," complained Jon Johansen, the
Norwegian author of DeCSS, in an e-mail."
"Valenti argues that the movie industry is "a distinct
economic asset to this country" and Kaplan's verdict is necessary
to protect it. But copyright laws have limits; if we must choose
between movie-studio profits and the Bill of Rights, it ought to be
clear which one is expendable."
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