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Wednesday, December 18, 2002

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DCMA 0 Common Sense 1

Dmitry Sklyarov and his employer Elcomsoft have been found not guilty in the first major test of the DMCA. It is however a bittersweet victory. It was not decided on the proposition that the DCMA is a stupid law and never should been written, but on the theory of 'willful violations'. GWU Professor Orin Kerr explains:

"Why does it matter whether the company meant to violate the law, you might wonder? Here's a bit of background. The general rule in criminal law is that intent to violate the law doesn't matter. As they say, "ignorance of the law is no excuse." However, Congress occasionally limits criminal liability to "willful" violations of the law. Although there is some dispute as to what it means to violate a law "willfully," the general rule is that a willful violation means a violation that is knowingly and purposely in violation of the law itself. Willful violations are an exception to the usual rule that ignorance of the law is no excuse: when Congress limits a crime to "willful" violations, ignorance of the law is an excuse. The government must prove not only that the defendant violated the law, but that the defendant knew he was violating the law."

GWU prof Orin Kerr explains why Elcomsoft acquittal happened
read here - go there
Source: Politechbot.com

This may be a good time to write your representitive about repealing the DCMA. Republicans could probably use the break as Trent Lott has created such a mess.


In crossing my living room to my computer I noticed that Who wants to be a Millionaire was on. The question on the screen was 'what scientist Tim Berners Lee was credited with inventing'. After phoning a friend, who was clueless, he asked the audience. The audience response was 39%for DVD, 39% for Pentium4, 19% for Napster and 3% for the World Wide Web.

The good news is that the guy passed and left with 16 grand. The bad news is the poor connection between TBL and the Internet.

Are you playing a Flash Movie or with my harddrive

A Hole in the Flash Player

Flash Has Security Hole, But Fix Is Offered
read here - go there
Source: internetweek.com

Two by Lessig

Racing Against Time
read here - go there
Source: cioinsight.com

Lawrence Lessig: A threat to innovation on the web
read here - go there
Source: Financial Times of London - news.ft.com

Tim O'Reilly is a book publisher who has no problem with selling books or with online distribution.

Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
read here - go there
Source: openp2p.com


Hiding Content [Posted] 12/11/02

One of the re-occurring themes that appear on design lists is 'hiding content', or making one's code invisible. Most of the solutions just don't work. The internet is not about hiding stuff. But in the interest of fairness I can offer a proven method of hiding content.

p i x e l v i e w

Mitch Ratcliffe is definitely an other. The 21st century holds the promise of rich multimedia across the web. Mitch was blazing this trail in the 20th century. From code to finance.

p i x e l v i e w - behind the screen with Mitch Ratcliffe
read here - go there

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