Should free software authors fear being
arrested in the same fashion as Dmitry Sklyarov was for writing
I don't think they should fear it. I think that the government
strategy is now clear. They intend to make Sklyarov a scapegoat;
have a couple prosecutions under the DMCA. Once they succeed in
getting pretty severe penalties against Sklyarov they'll count on
that scaring the rest of the people away. Right at this minute, I
don't think they will be pushing any other prosecutions.
Code [Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace by Lawrence
Lessig, Basic Books 1999] says that open source can be a strong
offsetting factor because there is no choke point. Have subsequent
events changed your opinion?
No, I still think that that is true. Whether it is likely that
open source or free software will have that effect is a much more
doubtful question right now. I think that things have gone pretty
well up to this moment. The real fear is that the next layer of
struggle, at the network layer, will have a profound tilting effect
away from open source projects. If that is true then open source
won't continue to provide an opportunity to check improper
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