[Discussioni] SSSCA (fwd)

Alessandro Rubini rubini a gnu.org
Ven 1 Mar 2002 19:00:44 CET

> Subject: The SSSCA considered harmful
> From: Ben_Tilly a trepp.com
> On Thursday, Feb 28, 2002 Senator Hollings lead a hearing on his proposed
> Security Systems Standards and Certification Act, known as the SSSCA.
> The problem, as Mike Godwin said at
> http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200202/msg00273.html,
> is that Congress doesn't understand the technical issues involved.  So we
> must find examples of those technical issues in contexts that they
> understand.
> Email makes a good example.  Most people are familiar with it, and it shows
> the relevant copyright issues.
> I am sending you an email.  If you like it, you might forward it to a
> friend with a brief comment added.  You might send it back to me with
> corrections made.  You might copy phrases out of it to put into a report or
> memo.  It might, as with the message I linked, find its way onto a website
> on the Internet.
> By the act of writing you this email, I have a copyright on my words.  In
> these common tasks you have redistributed, modified, and taken away my
> attribution.  Under the SSSCA the software cannot be allowed to let you do
> that because the software is failing to protect my copyright.  According to
> Hollywood and Senator Hollings, you would be a pirate and criminal for
> abusing my copyrighted material.  Under existing copyright law your actions
> might infringe, or might be fair use.  Mostly it is fair use.
> So how would the SSSCA solve the problem of your using email as it was
> designed and intended to be used?  Very simply, it would make your email
> program illegal.  The software must be rewritten.  Once rewritten it cannot
> contain a "forward" button.  It cannot allow you to copy and paste text
> from it.  It cannot allow you to create a reply with my words included.  It
> cannot allow you to send mail to existing email programs because they don't
> implement copyright protection.  According to the good Senator, only
> pirates and criminals would want to do any of these things.  My copyrighted
> content MUST be protected from criminals and pirates like you.
> Email is but one kind of program that is affected.  (Do not be fooled.  The
> phrase they use may be "digital device", but their definition of a digital
> device includes virtually all software programs.)  Our lives are filled
> with electronic content that we produce, transfer, and manipulate.  Whether
> you paste from one Word document to another or copy a spreadsheet, features
> you use can violate copyrights.  Therefore Senator Hollings wants to ban
> your software.
> They call this the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act.  They
> claim it is meant to protect poor copyright holders (like me) from
> criminals and pirates (like you).  I call this the complete dismantling and
> destruction of our computer infrastructure.  Please let your
> representatives know what you call it.  You can find their contact
> information as follows:
> Senators: http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm
> Congress: http://congress.org/
> Sincerely,
> Ben Tilly
> PS Your email software has not (yet) been crippled in accord with the
> proposed SSSCA.  Please feel free to use it to forward this message.

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