Subject: Re: SSSCA - Analysis (Q&D)
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 22:29:42 -0700
Mon, 10 Sep 2001 22:29:42 -0700
on Mon, Sep 10, 2001 at 09:03:24PM -0700, D V Henkel-Wallace (
> Some of your analysis is (understandably) over the top.

The view of this as MSFT's private legislation is, frankly, inspired.  I
didn't see it.  I'm still not sure I believe it.  But after over ten
years of exposure to this company, from MSDOS, MS Windows 3.0, MS Windows
95/98/ME, NT, the DoJ actions, and MonkeyBoy, I have to admit it has the
right balance of grab-all-you-can-get, and over-the-top audacity that
we've come to accept from the Northern Menace.  This could be something
they've drafted in seriousness, it could be another example of yet
another famous Microsoft tactic:  the wind check.  Float an idea, see
what response it gathers, and if it doesn't succeed, try again...and
again...and again...

My fear is that there are only 100 US senators.  If the traditional war
of attrition is waged, and the resulting legislative proposals are as
outrageous as this, I foresee a few wrecked political careers.  Maybe.
OK, I hope.

Ben's crazy and paranoid.

These are survival traits.

> There's no need to ban emacs or TeX.  

As written, and the bill looks to be extremely poorly drafted (simple
mechanical details, such as inconsistent references to "The Secretary",
not just its rather outrageous effects on free software and public
rights), I think Ben's analysis that simple tools, possibly not 'ls',
but certianly 'cat', would be effected.  The bill is simply insanity.

> Instead, only certified applications can authenticate to the disk
> drive to read the file.  Acrobat and Word can both authenticate
> themselves to the OS with the right capability keys to use the
> cut/paste service with protected text.
> Of course this means you can't read the program text, so installers have
> to authenticate in the same way.  And you can't read kmem, or construct
> your own pointers, so debuggers are verboten without a license.  Sound
> crazy?  The US export laws used to forbid the export of disassemblers.
> The "time shift" part is insidious, and may cause the most uproar.  It
> specifically exempts that, but it doesn't say that the PVR need allow
>  multiple  replays.  In other words, you can time shift that ballgame
> to see what happens, but you can't save that cool catch to show it
> again to your husband when he gets home.

Thanks.  I'm looking for examples of impacts, particularly on home
video/audio applications.  Ben pointed out that blanking commercials may
not be allowed, you've indicated that multiple replays could be


Karsten M. Self <>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             There is no K5 cabal     
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA!
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