ComputerWorld: Hearing spotlights clash between open source and copyright protection

“The U.S. Copyright Office conducted two days of contentious
public hearings at Stanford University last week to consider legal
exemptions that would permit some circumvention of copy-protection
schemes. Supporters of such exemptions believe existing
restrictions hinder development of open-source software, but
opponents argue changes would unfairly allow outsiders to exploit
protected work without compensating the authors.”

“Companies and public interest groups offered testimony on which
classes of works should be exempted under section 1201(a)(1) of the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Meanwhile, outside the
building, members of the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group held a
rally to protest the current policy, which, they say, restricts the
fair use of copyrighted material and development of free
open-source software.”

“On first blush this looks to be about money, but it is about
power,” said Eric Raymond, president of the San Jose-based Open
Source Initiative, who attended the rally. “Is power going to go to
the information monopolies, or will it go to developers and


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