Because of a controversial 1998 copyright law, it may be illegal to defang even potentially harmful software, like the anticopying technology found on some Sony BMG Music Entertainment CDs.
But those strict legal restrictions should stay in effect, entertainment industry lobbyists said Friday, when they urged the U.S. Copyright Office to avoid making any changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Some folks may have thought my previous posting about Freedom To Tinker‘s article: RIAA Says Future DRM Might Threaten Critical Infrastructure and Potentially Endanger Lives may have been picked up in error, that the statement made on Freedom To Tinker maybe didn’t make a lot of sense, but I don’t think there will be any question now after reading this ZDNet article.
We can not afford to allow special interests and lobbyists to rewrite our laws for us and limit our Constitutional freedoms to the detriment of Citizens on any level.
The Bill of Rights rightly states;
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
I wholeheartedly believe the DMCA is one of those things that infringes on Citizen’s free exercise of their right to free speech. In this case, Freedom To Tinker’s Ed Felton and J. Alex Halderman had uncovered the Sony “problem” a month before it became public in November 2005, “but feared a lawsuit under Section 1201 of the DMCA if they were to disclose it without the record label’s authorization.”
Because our Constitution has been basically made null and void in this area, Ed Felton had good reason to be concerned since he was threatened with a DMCA lawsuit for exposing weaknesses in a music watermarking scheme. The EFF represented him in that case. There was also a case where the hacker publication 2600 had been successfully sued by eight movie studios for linking to code that can crack copy protections on DVDs (DVD-decrypting utility).
This is no small concern. Back in 2003 it was made public that security researchers (and black hat hackers) could face legal repurcussions if they publish detailed information about vulnerabilities and exploits.
As shown above, the US Constitution, through the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights makes it legal to publish truthful information.
The problem is that courts and politicians on The Hill have been creating exceptions to what the Bill of Rights maintains is a Right of it’s Citizens at the constant prodding of lobbyists for special interests.
There are some other things that should be kept in mind:
“It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Parker, Chief Prosecutor for the United States of America at the Nuremberg Trials
“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”
Marbury vs. Madision, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)
“Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”
Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491.
“An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties’ affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
Norton vs. Shelby County 118 US 425 p. 442
It is so hard to understand how these truths could be so clear in the minds of lawmakers in the past, and rightly interpreted by the judicial system of our great country in the past.
Especially when it appears that corporate lobbyists have been so successful in turning the heads of our elected members of congress and, far worse for individual Citizens, possibly even some of the appointees on the benches of our Court system … at least it seems so.
Abraham Lincoln said:
“The people are the master of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it!”
Constitution of the United States – Preamble:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. —Harry S. Truman
In support of the Constitution of the United States where great patriots through out our history (although human/not perfect), gave all they had to give us this freedom. That should be an awe inspiring reason to do all we can to make sure they did not suffer in vain to secure for us these freedoms.
“Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislatures, and enforced in courts of justice.”
“In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man, Brave, Hated, and Scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him, For then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.”
“No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or if he fall in defense of the liberties and Constitution of his country.” Daniel Webster
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do!”