Comments: Solveig Singleton - The DMCA Dialectic: Towards Constructive Criticism

Just a quick response. DeCSS was developed initially "in connection" with efforts related to trying to develop a Linux player. However, relations between DeCSS developers and the Linux developers working on projects like DoD were not always good, which I why I think that DeCSS was an odd choice of program to champion. For example, DeCSS developer Jon Johansson borrowed some of Derek Fawcus's code, but did not attribute it to him, nor did JJ release the DeCSS code under the GPL, which he ought to have done if he wished to use DF's code. They later negotiated a private license. JJ also reportedly did not want to release the source code for DeCSS at all. I think a project like DoD has a stronger claim to being an open source effort.

In a short paper, it is difficult to do justice to everyone's arguments. I did not intend to sneer at anyone. My larger point remains; if the DMCA is necessary or probably necessary, and reforms are needed, well, what should they look like? How does one avoid the exception swallowing the rule? If the DMCA is not needed, then, well, that is a different argument (one that I think is much more interesting) and one that my paper did not really address; I expect I'll blog on that shortly.

As for you, Seth, I will cheerfully concede that you are a hard case.

Posted by Solveig Singleton at May 15, 2006 02:51 PM