Subject: the congressional mandate
From: Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 03:37:23 -0700 (PDT)


Those of us who engage more directly with politicians and lobbyists
might want to keep this point of view in mind:  Laws like DMCA and
proposed legislation like SSSCA aren't simply arbitrary favors granted
to large donors: they are a response to a congressional mandate to
ensure (some form of) "exclusive right" at a time when digital
technology threatens to take away such rights for anything that can be
reduced to bits.  Though those laws, primarily in their technical
naivete, wind up attempting to trash our civil rights -- the
motivation for _some_ legislative response to digital technology is
sound.  

A good message for congress would be (1) you're in over your heads
trying to understand the practical implications of these laws; and (2)
there are emerging business models starting to "promote progress" in
new ways that don't need such laws at all -- new legislation at this
point in time is likely to prove premature and error-prone.

-t