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National Journal: Digital Dilemma

Aug 05, 2001, 16:30 (8 Talkback[s])

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Paul Eggert writes:

This article is written for a nontechnical inside-the-Beltway readership, and focuses on possible changes to copyright law. The emphasis is on lobbying and political issues, including the battle between Microsoft and Hollywood. It also mentions Edward Felten and the 2600 case, and it alludes to the Sklyarov case.

Neil Munro and Drew Clark write:

"[Disney President Bob] Iger says he is confident that consumers' desire for Hollywood's products will eventually force the firms to install the 'anti-circumvention' gear. The market 'opportunity will be so vast that the [electronics firms] will see the opportunity for themselves as well,' he said."

"Disney has already persuaded Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., to consider supporting its approach in exchange for backing Hollings's bill on Internet privacy."

"Iger dismissed any plan that would require Disney or other content owners to buy protection from Microsoft and other companies with a share of their movie revenues: 'Forget it. I don't think the providers of content are going to allow that to occur.'"

"[Business Software Alliance] President Robert Holleyman, focuses on the growing problem of digital copying via the Internet. 'The challenge is, in addition to private enforcement actions ... we definitely need at least two, three times the effort [from the FBI and local governments] we have now, for starters,' Holleyman said. If that does not happen, he believes, 'legitimate business will not survive on the Internet.'"

"[Rep. Rick] Boucher [D-Va.] expects support from the copyright industry for his digital-music bill, but he certainly won't get it for his next effort: repealing the criminal sanctions for cracking encryption so long as the cracking effort is not for the purpose of infringing on copyright."

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