February 12, 2003

"Chicken littles" - "In Defense of Copyright Law" by Doug Isenberg

One more item regarding "In Defense of Copyright Law" by Doug Isenberg (link from Donna Wentworth / Copyfight), because the following part is quite relevant to me:

Still, there are no "copyright police." Some copyright chicken littles would have us believe otherwise by citing the interesting case of a computer programmer who along with his company was criminally charged under the DMCA in 2001 for creating a software program that circumvented technological protections on e-books in the Adobe format, even though neither the programmer nor the company actually copied any e-books. But, charges against the programmer were dropped, and a jury in December 2002 found the company not guilty. Apparently, copyright law has not run amok.

Dmitry Sklyarov was jailed pre-trial. For what? DMCA violations and conspiracy. I'd say that's "run amok".

I have a standard offer for lawyers who write things such as the "chicken littles" paragraph above. I say: Since, according to you, there is no risk, well then, there should be no problem at all for you to agree to represent me pro bono for any relevant charges arising from my censorware work. No risk, right? So there's no risk in your making such agreement, right? Here's how you can show you believe it yourself, when there's a risk to you!

I have yet to find a lawyer, who makes derisive comments like that quoted remark, who will then take me up on that offer. In this case, since it's not good to be represented by a hostile lawyer, I'd have to modify the offer from "represent me" to "cover all my legal defense expenses", or something along those lines. But that's a detail, since I don't expect any interest in it.

Note: Some readers may wonder, what about the DMCA censorware exemption, which I was instrumental in winning. That covers actually performing an encryption circumvention, but it doesn't cover publishing about it, to help others obtain the blacklists. I'm just one person, the blacklists are huge. The problem is that if I give other people the whole censorware blacklist, that's likely a copyright violation, and if I give them the tools to obtain the censorware blacklist themselves, that may be a DMCA code ("trafficking") violation.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight | on February 12, 2003 04:12 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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