Subject: Re: the .NET battle ends
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 15:45:06 -0700 (PDT)

       It is quite legal for them to outlaw the saving of digital information
       in forms without content protection.

No way.  Common sense (among the technically sophisticated). It is
totalitarian and tyranical, therefore unconstitutional.  But
"totalitarian" and "tyranical" are not a sufficiently secure arguments
to advance in court -- it seems to me the courts like to be more
precise, more narrow, in their constructions.  The task, then, is to
figure out more specifically how the two texts contradict one another,
and thus how the dominant text wins.

    Look, I detest the thought of the SSSCA.  I think it is a horrible
    law that devastates industry.  However I can't even convince
    myself that it is outside of the power of Congress to pass!  And I
    also cannot convince myself that it regulates the software
    industry in a more intrusive way than many other industries are
    already regulated.

A required seatbelt imposes little cost and has little impact on
automotive technology.  Enforcing the requirement is nearly trivial
and, with apologies to some libertarians I've known, is not
particularly onerous or invasive.  Against that, a required seatbelt
does a lot of social good.

The SSSCA imposes extreme costs, has tremendous technology impact, and
is unenforcible except through horrible, unprecedented means.  Against
that, it props up a specific implementation of "promote progress",
written prior to the digital age, which implementation is clearly no
longer in accord with the natural world.  They have no right to pass
this bill.