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Re: <nettime> joxe's empire of disorder
Are Flagan on Thu, 5 Dec 2002 17:53:09 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> joxe's empire of disorder


On 12/4/02 13:05, "richard barbrook" <richard {AT} hrc.wmin.ac.uk> wrote:

> Passing laws is not the same thing as making people obey them. The DCMA or
> the EU Copyright Directive haven't stopped the sharing of information
> among Net users. As even the simplest versions of historical materialism
> point out, the legal superstructure can - at best - only slow down the
> evolution of the socio-economic base...

You write, of course, two days after the trial of the first _criminal_
DMCA proceedings have started in California (the case was first brought in
July 2001). In the The United States of America vs. ElcomSoft Ltd., the
DoJ is pursuing a Russian software company for breaking the Adobe ebook
copy protection and seeking to profit from it. Caught in the middle, with
a few weeks of jail time already behind him, is a Russian graduate
student, Dmitry Skylarov, who actually broke the encryption and made his
exploits public, thereby violating the DMCA.

The hopes and aims of this case, "guilt" aside, is of course to develop a
strong _criminal_ precedent, to add to the civil, and enhance the
intimidation factor our various DMCA enforcers rely upon daily.

The real ironic treat of the case, however, is that Katalov, of ElcomSoft,
and Sklyarov both had difficulties getting visas to return to the United
States; they finally received "parole visas" that allows them to be in the
country for the duration of the trial.

As for the slowing _evolution_ of the socio-economic base, welcome to the
Monkey Trial of the digital millennium.

-af





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