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Re: [tlug] Patents[[sic]] gone wrong?

Note that technically the DMCA has absolutely nothing to do with

Narendra Prabhu. B writes:
 > wrote:
 > > Does anyone know of a good site to read on patent issues?  How about the DMCA?
 > I read from, (easily reachable through search engines, but still...)
 > Wikipedia also has some useful information regarding the same.

Both are as biased as RIAA press releases, though in the opposite
direction.  Please read the summary by the U.S. Copyright Office, and
the law itself.

IIRC, a more unbiased description of the law is at

An interesting thing that you'll discover if you actually read the
links from the EFF site is that many of the alleged abuses were
actually simply threats, abandoned or caved in to long before anybody
got close to a court.

As for the chilling effects on academic crypto research, which figure
pretty large in the EFF campaign, they're genuine.  But I can tell you
that university faculty are by and large a rather venal, weak lot,
giving in to any threat.  There are a couple of famous cases, like the
Sklyarov case, which actually did end up calling on the legal system,
but they're rather few compared to the number of people who are
unwilling to take any risk at all.  (Note that I'm not saying they
*should* take a risk---that's up to them; I'm saying that they are not
credible witnesses to the awfulness of the law if they're not willing
to join Thoreau in saying "Ralph Waldo, what are *you* doing *out
there*?!"  Obviously they don't consider it particularly important.
Cf. Dan Bernstein's various court cases.)  Eventually the NSA and the
CIA will get their pet congressmen to fix that part of the law.

So obviously current IP law, including the DMCA, is less than ideal.
But is it a genuine threat to Americans' (and others, to the extent it
is emulated) *freedom*?  That's pretty hard to believe.

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