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CNET News.com: Filtering firm employs copyright law against Webmasters

Mar 24, 2000, 18:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patricia Jacobus)

"What began as a rallying cry for free speech has turned into a legal migraine for three young Webmasters who publicized decoded material belonging to an Internet firm that filters smut from children's computers."

"The men, all in their early 20s, were ordered by a judge to take down the information or face charges of copyright violations--the first time such a law has been successfully applied in the hotly contested filtering debate."

"Today the alleged offenders got the relief they were looking for when veteran civil liberties lawyer Chris Hansen offered to take on the fight against the filtering firm, Cyber Patrol."

"This court battle could settle the question of whether code cracking, also called "reverse engineering," is unlawful. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act put some of these issues to rest when it passed in 1998. The act imposes safeguards for software, music and written works on the Net and outlaws technologies that can crack copyright-protection devices."

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