July 07, 2003

DMCA censorware exemption follow-up reply

In response the DMCA censorware exemption follow-up question, we submitted the

Joint Reply Of Seth Finkelstein and James S. Tyre

For the question:

Please clarify, as specifically as possible, the types of applications you believe should or should not be subject to an exception for the circumvention of access controls on filtering software lists, if such an exception is recommended.

The key definition is:

"Programs designed and optimized for use by an authority to prevent another person from sending or receiving information."

The reply is many pages long, going into great detail about the differences between censorware, spam-killing, viruses, etc.

One of the best anti-spam software packages, SpamAssassin, http://spamassassin.org/ is completely open-source. All websites, data, patterns, and so on, are open for inspection and evaluation. And it's become a better system for it. It's actually possible to see why a false positive occurred. Moreover, because of this "transparency", theit's-not-on-the-list game is not possible. So the creators have an incentive to fix problems rather than possibly deny their existence. Any idea that examining spam lists will lead to increased problem with spam, is refuted by SpamAssassin's success. Examining some spam lists is likely to be far more a scourge to companies selling poor products ("snake oil") than to anti-spam efforts.

Also some humor:

To clarify what Mr. Tyre meant, N2H2 allowed Mr. Finkelstein to have an ordinary, encrypted-blacklist, 30-day-limited, evaluation version of their software on a few occasions, typically when they did not check his background. One time their automated registration process approved him, but N2H2 later checked his background and threatened to revoke his evaluation credentials ("Letting you evaluate the product would be the same as working with the opposition. I have yet to read an article that you wrote that had anything good to say about filtering."). Currently, they will not let him have even their standard evaluation software (and are extremely nasty about their refusals too!) ...

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware , dmca | on July 07, 2003 05:02 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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