"When I say "feel-good legislation," I mean it follows
a long line of laws enacted to impart the impression that the
legislators are doing something while in Washington and not back
home tending their shops and farms as the founding fathers
intended. We see it all the time. When there is a notable shooting,
legislators rush to make guns in the hands of criminals even more
illegal, disregarding that if laws entered into it, the shooter
wouldn't have been shooting in the first place. No matter what
happens, there is someone in Congress ready to rush forth with some
dimwitted legislative "solution" that will accomplish nothing. This
effect is even more pronounced when the legislation is requested,
perhaps in a note with a $50 bill wrapped around it and the sly
suggestion that there's more where that came from.
In this case, the legislator has decided, with help from
companies who have given him tens of thousands of dollars, that the
copyright law is not sufficient; that the abominable Digital
Millennium Copyright Act is not enough; and that instead it must be
made impossible to undertake such acts as might deprive these
companies -- Microsoft, by the way, is into Hollings for $6,000 --
of every penny they can get. Like all such legislation, it presumes
that everyone would be a criminal, given the chance.
This monstrous abuse of legislative power arises from the
popularity of digital content including, chiefly, motion pictures
and music. But it applies to all digital devices and content,
including PCs and software. And therein lies the rub insofar as
Linux is concerned. The bill, if passed, would not just preserve
copy protection and make its removal illegal -- it would actually
forbid anything that isn't copy protected, according to some
readings; it is as difficult to clearly follow as it is to follow
the marble-mouthed Hollings when he speaks."
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