European DMCA

Nick Hockings s96121272 at
Tue Jul 31 18:50:30 UTC 2001

Quoting E L Tonkin <py7elt at>:
> Hi,
> As far as reverse engineering and so on goes, this directive puts far
> too
> much power in the hands of companies since all they really have to do
> (from previous behaviour, at least) is to add some kind of encryption,
> as 
> ridiculously easy to break as it may be, and then claim their system to
> be
> 'secure'... then of course anybody using that system would know it was
> intended to be 'secure' and then would be in violation of the law if
> they
> actually attempted to decrypt this. 

That depends who holds copyright on the information that is encrypted.
Generally this is the author or the author's employer. 
Thus nobody's personal correspondence or business data could become 
copyright to a non-free software company.
The only things that could be "protected" by lousy encryption would be 
things released as non-free software or data.

If the same protocol used for ebooks were used anywhere for 
privately owned data, then you could write a decryption/format converter
for that private data. So long as you posted a warning not to use the
program to circumvent copyright you'd safe. (Just don't promote the use
of the app to cirumvent copyright, 'cos they'd get you then!) 
Writing to your favourite news-media to complain about the inadequacy 
of "proprietary encryption format, used by ebooks" and telling them why,
is a different matter.

Remember we are not here to promote the use of non-free ebooks or software.
If non-free stuff is nasty to use, that's good for freesoftware.
What we need to do is make free apps, ebooks etc to fill the needs of 
all potential users. This is a recruiting oportunity. All those people 
offended or locked out by non-free software are potential converts. 

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