observations from a slightly mad german-american

Thursday, December 06, 2001

And I thought the DMCA was bad... Along comes the SSSCA.

I haven't researched this issue too much yet, but the little I've learned so far isn't good.

SSSCA is a new set of legislation that has been (or will be) proprosed by Senator Ernest Hollings, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

It appears to place significant requirements on all electronic data that would seriously hamper innovations and intellectual freedom. The only people I see benefiting are the entertainment industry and a few software firms (can you say Microsoft? Oracle?).

It would essentially outlaw free software* like GNU/Linux or FreeBSD, because they allow themselves to be freely copied and resold -- which would fly in the face of the legislation's requirements that software have built-in copy protection.

Seems handy for Microsoft and Sun. The largest portion of web-servers, mail-servers, etc., on the Internet today are based on Linux and Apache -- both free software. Outlaw those two products, and who gets the hole created in the market?

This isn't just about "Microsoft is evil" -- that's too general of a statement anyways -- there is much more at stake.

Brush up on the issue and write your Senators and Congressman to let them know how you feel about it.

Links below:

  1. Letter to Senator Howlings from the Assocation for Computing Devices (ACM).
  2. More to come soon...


Happy Thursday.

*The term "Free Software" is oft misunderstood, due to a quirk of the English language. For more information, visit the Free Software Foundation.


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