[TriLUG] DMCA II - Electric Boogaloo
Mon, 10 Sep 2001 12:29:43 -0400 (EDT)
On Sat, 8 Sep 2001, Paul Jones wrote:
> you can and should write your senators and tell them what you think.
Here's a sample letter. I wrote and sent this to both Helms and Edwards.
You're welcome to use it as a basis for your own letter. I reccomend
customizing it to some extent, as a several unique letters on an issue,
are considered more important than a number of obviously identical
Dear Senator Edwards,
I'm writing today to encourage you to oppose Senator Fritz
Hollings' (SC) proposed bill, the Security Systems Standards and
Certification Act (SSSCA). This bill would require all computer hardware
manufacturers to implement a standardized technology that would prevent
users from copying copyrighted materials. Furthermore, the bill would
criminalize the use of non-compliant technology.
This bill is very dangerous to the political and economic health
of the nation. Politically, the SSSCA would serve to enforce the
interests of a few multinational corporations at the expense of
the rights of the people. The tradition of "fair use" in the
the field of copyright would be essentially destroyed, as technical
measures would forbid academics and artists from exercising their
rights to criticise, comment, and create based on other's work.
Economically, this bill would threaten innovation in the computer
industry. The new technical economy is based on "Moore's Law" which
states that microproccesors will double in performance every 15 months.
This development has driven new applications for computers
that have increased our nation's productivity dramatically. If
hardware manufacturers are forced to shackle their designs with
measures to protect the intellectual property rights of the few,
this frantic path of massive technological improvement will be
Furthermore, the bill would essentially crush innovative open source
software companies, such as Red Hat software (from North Carolina). Open
source software is rapidly growing commercial field which
powers much of the Internet's networking and server infrastructure.
As it allows users to modify the basic code of their software,
and as such remove barriers to copyright protection, it would be
effectively outlawed by the SSSCA.
For these reasons, I believe that this proposed bill, if enacted, would be
a massive mistake for the United States. It would threaten our political
rights and economic health. I strongly urge you to oppose it.