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The Register: If I Tell You That I'll Have to Kill You: Red Hat Fights the DMCA

Oct 16, 2002, 14:30 (30 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

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"Red Hat has struck a small blow against the DMCA, by publishing a security patch which can only be explained fully to people who are not within US jurisdiction. The company's position here seems to be not altogether voluntary--according to a spokesman 'it is bizarre, and unfortunately something Red Hat cannot easily do much about,' but like it or not Red Hat has been recruited to the campaign to make the DMCA look ridiculous.

"The patch itself is on the Red Hat site, on this page, and the oddity here can be seen if you go down to the bottom. Under the heading 'references' there is a link to http://www.thefreeworld.net/non-US/. At this point, those of you reading this while within US jurisdiction should have a care. We will endeavour to unfold the tale to you without exposing ourselves to action under the DMCA, but we stress now that we are not encouraging you to do so, nor is it our intention to provide you with the tools to do so.

"Thefreeworld.net is not as yet an especially widely-known site, but its purpose is explained here. Briefly, it notes that the US has shown a readiness to bust individuals who perfectly legally publish information and software outside of the US, on the basis that this is published to people within US jurisdiction, among others. In order to publish this information without getting busted, Thefreeworld.net uses a licensing agreement which specifically rules out people within US jurisdiction. You can see the licence here, and again we stress that people within US jurisdiction should not accept this licence..."

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