Computer underground Digest Sun Aug 6, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 65 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji

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Computer underground Digest Sun Aug 6, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 65 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson CONTENTS, #7.65 (Sun, Aug 6, 1995) File 1--FWD>House Telecommunications Bill Passes with Amendments (fwd) File 2--CDT Testimony for Today's Sen. Hearing (fwd) File 3--VTW BillWatch #12 File 4--Re: Intellectual property File 5--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 22:18:58 -0500 (CDT) From: David Smith Subject: File 1--FWD>House Telecommunications Bill Passes with Amendments (fwd) ----------------------------Original message---------------------------- ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ From--Vigdor Schreibman - FINS Subject--HOUSE TELECOM PASSES WITH AMENDMENTS (fwd) HOUSE TELECOM PASSES WITH AMENDMENTS Broadcast Limitation & Parental Choice Approved Washington, DC--The House of Representatives, this afternoon, passed the "Communications Act of 1995" [HR 1555], in a final vote of 305 yeas to 117 nays. An amendment (2-5) offered by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), was agreed to earlier by a vote of 228 yeas to 195 nays to limit the ownership by any person of television stations which have an aggregate national audience reach exceeding 35 percent. Another amendment (2-6) offered by Reps. Markey, Dan Burton (D-IN), John M. Spratt, Jr (D-SC), and James P. Moran (D-VA), was agreed to by a vote of 224 yeas to 199 nays, would establish a plan to facilitate parental choice in television programming. The amendment would establish a voluntary television rating system, and require that televisions be equipped with program-blocking technology known as the "V-chip or "choice chip." The "V-chip" agreement was a surprise outcome. A vote of the House first approved a substitute amendment (2-7) offered by Rep. Tom A. Coburn (R-OK) that was agreed to by a vote of 222 yeas to 201 nays. The Coburn amendment would have replaced parental control with a Federally mandated industry study. However, on a motion to recommit offered by Rep. Markey with instruction to insert the language of the Markey amendment (2-6), the House approved the motion by a vote of 224 yeas to 199 nays and, thereby, mandated the provisions of both amendments. Rep. Burton was evidently so thrilled by the result, which he had passionately supported, that he was seen weeping in joy after the final outcome was announced. Vigdor Schreibman - FINS ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 22:23:53 -0500 (CDT) From: David Smith Subject: File 2--CDT Testimony for Today's Sen. Hearing (fwd) ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date--Mon, 24 Jul 1995 13:24:25 -0400 From--Jonah Seiger Below is CDT Executive Director Jerry Berman's testimony for today's hearing on the Dole/Grassley bill. We will post a review of the hearing later tonight and will make the testimony of other witnesses available as soon as we get it. Jonah -- Testimony of Jerry Berman, Executive Director Center for Democracy and Technology Regarding The "Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act of 1995" (S. 892) before the Senate Judiciary Committee July 24, 1995 Mr. Chairman and Member of the Subcommittee: My name is Jerry Berman, Executive Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. The Center is pleased to have opportunity to address the subcommittee on one of the critical civil liberties issues of our day: the question of the most effective and constitutional means of protecting children from inappropriate material on the Internet. We are pleased, therefore, the have the opportunity to offer our views on the proposed "Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act of 1995." (S. 892) = The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is an independent, non-profit public interest policy organization in Washington, DC. The Center's mission is to develop and implement public policies to protect and advance individual liberty and democratic values in new digital media. The Center achieves its goals through policy development, public education, and coalition building. The Center is also the coordinator of the Interactive Working Group (IWG), an ad hoc working group of over 85 organizations from the computer and communications industries, and the public interest community. Since January 1995, the IWG has been working to address the question of how to protect children from inappropriate material online in a manner which is consistent with Constitutional values and continued innovation in interactive media. I. Broad reach and sweeping impact of the "Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act of 1995." The "Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act of 1995" (S.892) has been presented as a narrowly drawn statute, designed to target the "bad actors." Unfortunately, based on CDT's analysis, the proposed statute is in fact strickingly broad. In some senses, it is even more sweeping than the Communications Decency Act. A. The Grassley bill creates broad criminal liability for online servi= ces providers, video dialtone network operators, full service network providers, schools, libraries, private businesses, and many content providers Notwithstanding the intent of the drafters, the Grassley bill sweeps a number of commercial and noncommercial entities into its ambit. Covered entities include: * commercial online service providers, * schools, * libraries, * universities which offer access to the Internet, * other public information resources, * small and large businesses which provide their employees with access to= the Internet. In addition, since the bill covers all "electronic communications service" providers (see =A72(b)(1(B)), S. 892 also threatens criminal liability for: * video dialtone networks operated by local telephone companies, and * full service networks operated by cable television companies. Included as well would be any commercial or noncommercial provider of content which operates its own computer to distribute that content. As a result, all of the individuals and institutions which publish through the World Wide Web and operate their own computers attached to the Internet would face liability under this bill. To the extent that a content provider -- whether an individual or a large publishing company -- operates a computer which makes information available to others, that publisher would be subject to the provisions of S. 892. B. Broad scienter requirements in S. 892 would force the segration of = the Internet into a children's network and a separate adult network The scienter requirements in the proposed statute appear to have been designed in order to limit the scope of the statute. However, as drafted, the statute is subject to broad, sweeping interpretation when applied by criminal courts. These overly broad scienter requirements would force all who provide access to the Internet or other online services to create, in effect, separate networks for children and for adults. Such a stark separation would likely be the only way to for online service providers and system operators to avoid liability under S. 892. The new proposed =A7(b)(2) of 18 U.S.C. =A71464 would criminalize the "know= ing" transmission of indecent material to minors by any electronic communication service provider. According to one interpretation, the application of this knowledge requirement could apply to any provider who knows that a specific individual is a minor, and then transmits indecent material to that individual. Or, another interpretation could hold that service providers know that minors are on their service and that there is indecent material on the Internet. Thus, service providers -- including schools, libraries and private businesses -- would be criminally liable for merely providing minors with access to the Internet. Nothing in the statute or relevant case law suggests that courts applying this law would be compelled to adopt the former, more narrow, interpretation. Rather, it is perfectly plausible to read the proposed =A7(b)(2) as a punishment for any service provider or system operator who makes indecent material publicly available to an audience that may include minors. The threat of a broad interpretation of this new statute would compel all who provide access to the Internet to restrict all public discussion areas and public information sources from subscribers, unless they prove that they are over the age of eighteen. Under this statute, a service provider could not even provide Internet access to a minor with the approval of the child's parent. Since every online service provider would have to similarly restrict access to minors, this proposed statute would create two separate Internets, one for children and one for adults. Access by a child to the adult network would create criminal liability for the service provider. II. The vagueness of the "Protection of Children from Computer Pornogra= phy Act of 1995" will create a chilling effect on all forms of speech o= n the Internet and great confusion among schools, libraries, business= es, and online service providers who offer access to the Internet. A. Application of "willful" standard is unclear in the bill as drafted= and will lead to confusion among service providers and users The 'willful' standard also creates the possibility for significant confusion, given the widely divergent readings of the 'willful' requirement. In some instances, 'willful' is read as a so-called "tax standard," implying that to be convicted one must manifest a voluntary and intentional act which is violation of a known legal duty. Cheek v. United States, 111 S.Ct 604 (1991). However, courts have also found that willfulness means nothing more than a person acted knowingly and deliberately. United States v. Peltz, 433 F.2d 48, 54-055 (2d Cir.1970), cert. denied, 401 U.S. 955 (1971). The drafters of the Model Penal Code define willful as merely knowing action, and do not require specific intent to violate a known legal duty. Recent Supreme Court jurisprudence in the area of money laundering, on the other hand, has required that the defendant's actions demonstrate knowledge that his or her conduct is, in fact, a violation of the law. United States v. Ratzlaf, 114 S.Ct 655 (1994). A broad reading of "willful," requiring primarily purposive action leading to a minor's access to indecency, but not knowledge of the fact that such actions constituted violations of the law, would subject many service providers to liability under =A7 1464. A more narrow reading of this requirement, could diminish the overreaching impact of the statute, however, such an interpretation is by no means guaranteed. While Ratzlaf may offer some support in this regard, the Court also noted that " 'Willful,' ... is a 'word of many meanings,' and 'its construction' [is] often ... influenced by its content.' " Id. at 659 (citations omitted). The context was supplied, in part, by the statute in question, which had previously construed "willful" as knowing violation of a known legal duty. Id. No such context is available in 18 U.S.C. =A7 1464 to aid a court in intepretation. Confusion as to providers legal duty will create a tremendous chilling effect on all online communications. In order to minimize their risk, service providers will be forced to adopt rules governing their users behavior that are likely to be highly restrictive. B. Heavy-handed content regulation will squander the democratic potent= ial of interactive media As the popularity and accessibility of the Internet and commercial online services grows, and as the medium becomes easier to use, the political uses of the net have flourished. Political discourse is facilitated by a variety of different communications techniques possible online, including newsgroups, mailing list discussion groups, chat sessions, and a host of electronic publishing capabilities. Any regulation creating criminal penalties for communication of indecent material would have a substantial chilling effect on all who use interactive media. Such a chilling effect would severely inhibit the growth of the Internet as a political forum. Political groups left, right, and center are using the Internet to communicate, to organize, and to advocate their own views. Advocacy organizations have found World Wide Web services are critical to political education activities, and an increasing number of grass roots and community groups are coming to rely on the Internet to keep in touch with members and constituents. In fact, even some Senators offices are using the World Wide Web to communicate with and solicit feedback from constituents. As a nation we should be encouraging political discourse in this new medium, because of its potential to raise the level of political discussion beyond the sound bite and to involve more citizens in the political process. One aspect of encouraging political discourse in interactive media is to assure all users that their First Amendment and privacy rights will be respected fully. Indeed, the Internet and other online services are fast becoming a new public forum for political discourse for American citizens. In order to preserve the freedom and openness of this new political arena, it is critical to avoid creating a chilling effect on individual expression. III. The "Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act of 1995" = is unconstitutional under the First Amendment for failure to adopt the least restrictive means The proposed statute extends indecency restrictions enacted to apply to the broadcast radio and television media to new interactive communications media such as the Internet, commercial online services, and electronic bulletin board systems. Though indecency restrictions have been applied to broadcasting for some time, reflexive extension of the same restrictions to new interactive communications media is simply unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has long held that "each medium of expression presents special First Amendment problems." In light of the substantial control that users and parents have over content that enters their homes via interactive media, government restrictions on indecency as proposed by the Grassley bill are unconstitutional. A. Censorship of indecent, but not obscene, communications for the pur= pose of protecting minors must employ the least restrictive means availa= ble to accomplish their goal Indecent communications are protected by the First Amendment, unlike obscenity which is altogether unprotected. Sable Communications of California v. FCC, 492 US 115; 109 S.Ct. 2829; 106 L.Ed. 2d 93 (1989). Indecent communications, which do not rise to the level of obscenity, can only be limited in order to serve a compelling state purpose and must be done using the least restrictive means possible. Id. at 125. The Sable court found that the protection of minors from access to indecent material is a compelling state purpose, but that "it is not enough that the Government's ends are compelling; the means must be carefully tailored to achieve those ends." Id. As a threshold matter, the Sable court found that the constitutional basis for upholding indecency regulations in broadcast media articulated in Pacifica Foundation v. FCC, 438 US 726, 98 S.Ct. 3026, 57 L.Ed. 2d 1073 (1978), were inapplicable in any other media besides over-the-air broadcasting. 492 U.S. at 127. Pacifica accepted that the FCC had authority to enforce content regulation based on the dual finding that 1) radio was a "uniquely pervasive medium" that intruded (dirty words and all) into peoples homes, and 2) the only way to protect children from exposure to objectionable content was to keep it off the air altogether. = Sable rejects this finding of "pervasiveness" as "emphatically narrow" and irrelevant to other media such as telephone audiotext services. 492 U.S. at 127 Thus, the Sable "least restrictive means" standard became the test by which all regulations on access to constitutionally protected indecent material were judged. Nearly ten years of litigation along with adjustment of the statute and regulation were required before the current statute was found constitutional under this standard. See Dial Information Services v. Thornburg, 938 F.2d 1535 (2d Cir., 1991)(finding FCC regulations implementing =A7 223(b) constitutional). During the course of the dispute over the application of =A7 223 to audiotext services, courts considered an= d rejected a number of means by which carriers were required to shield minors from access to indecent information. First, time channeling rules, requiring that services only be accessible during hours when children were asleep, were found to violate the First Amendment because they had the effect of denying access to adults as well as children. Carlin Communications v. FCC, 749 F.2d 113, 121 (2d Cir. 1984) (Carlin I). Next, the courts rejected a requirement that carriers provide access to indecent services only once customers entered access codes or passwords, which were to be issued after verification that the customer was over 18. Carlin Communications v. FCC, 787 F.2d 846 (2d Cir. 1986)(Carlin II). The finding of the Dial court, approving the constitutionality of =A7 223 a= nd associated regulations depended on the legislative determination that the telephone company blocking of service pending age verification or use of a credit card are the only means to enable parents to restrict their children from access to indecent audiotext services. B. Background on dial-a-porn rules: lack of user control leads to inde= cency restrictions As was the case for broadcast indecency restrictions considered in Pacifica, the dial-a-porn restrictions were only found constitutional because of the uniquely intrusive and uncontrollable nature of the audiotext services. A key legislative motivation for imposing these rules during the 1980s was that indecent information available through audiotext services in the telephone system were openly available to children in such a way that it was difficult for parents to control access by their children. The views of Congressman Bliley recounts the prevailing view of the need for the legislation: "It constitutes an attractive nuisance in every home in America where children are present. There is no completely effective way to prevent children from being exposed to "indecent" or "obscene" dial-a-porn so long as it is lawfully and commercially marketed. . . ." Bliley continues: "Telephones are precisely like radio and television because of their easy accessibility to children and the virtual impossibility for parents to monitor their use . . . . [D]ial-a-porn is presently in the home whether the homeowner wants it or not. Today one cannot have telephone service in the privacy of one's family environment without being required to [have] dial-a-porn with it. Families with children must give up telephone service to be "left alone" from exposure of their children to this intruder." The current statute and Federal Communications Commission regulations promulgated thereunder were found constitutional only after nearly ten years of litigation and efforts by Congress and the Commission to bring the statute within constitutionally acceptable bounds. Indecency restrictions applied to interactive media would require a wholesale review of the constitutionality as applied to new media such as online services and the Internet. Interactive media operates in such a different manner that the constitutional issues must be considered afresh given the new factual backdrop. C. Reliance on government censorship to restrict access to indecency fails to take into account the fact that interactive media offers parents= a much greater degree of control then broadcast services or 900 numbe= r services. Indecency restrictions in interactive media would presumably be motivated by the same goal of protecting minors as the existing statute. However, the means adopted for achieving the goal are impermissible under the First Amendment because they are not the least restrictive means of accomplishing the legitimate government purpose. Interactive media is materially different than analog telephone and audiotext technology in that it offers users the ability to exercise control over precisely what information one accesses. Given the dramatic difference between telephone technology and interactive services such as the Internet and other interactive media, we believe that blocking by the carrier as demanded by =A7 223 would not meet the "least restrictive means" test. Just as the Sable court found broadcast indecency regulations inapplicable to the telephone system because of differences in the medium, regulations designed for audiotext services in the telephone system are constitutionally inapplicable to new interactive media. Indeed, indecency restrictions on material transport by US Mail have also been struck down by the Supreme Court precisely because "the receipt of mail is far less intrusive and uncontrollable" than broadcast information that was the subject of the Pacifica case. Technologies already exist that enable users to access certain information based on a variety of characteristics, or, to exclude certain types of information from access. With such filtering technology, users, instead of the government or network operators, can exercise control over the information content that they receive in an interactive network environment. User control could be exercised in two ways. First, one could screen out all messages or programs based on information in the header. If a parent wanted to prevent a child from seeing a particular movie or from participating in a particular online discussion group, then the computer or other information appliance used by the child could be set by the parent to screen out the objectionable content. Such features can often be protected with passwords which would be assigned, for example, by the responsible adults in the house. Second, the same systems can be used to enable blocking of content based on third-party rating systems. Given the flexibility of interactive technology, we need not rely on just one rating system. In fact, a single rating system or a single set of filters would merely replace a single government censor with a single private censor, with no real gain for the free flow of information. Properly implemented, interactive media can accommodate multiple filtering systems, giving users and parents the opportunity to select and block information based on a true diversity of criteria. The national Parent Teachers Association or different religious organizations could set up rating systems which would be available on the network to those who desired them. Rather than relying on the judgment of the government, or of the service provider, viewers can limit access to content based on the judgment of a group whose values they share. Interactive media can enable individuals and parents to prevent themselves or their children from using their PCs or TVs to access certain kinds of content. With such control mechanisms within the practical reach of parents, the governmental purpose generally cited for indecency regulations -- the protection of children -- could be accomplished without government content restrictions. In particular, the reasoning of Pacifica (intrusion of the indecent message into homes) and Sable (inability of parents to exercise control) would no longer justify most content regulation. ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 5 Aug 1995 03:06:49 -0400 From: "Shabbir J. Safdar" Subject: File 3--VTW BillWatch #12 ============================================================================ VTW BillWatch: A weekly newsletter tracking US Federal legislation affecting civil liberties. BillWatch is published every Friday afternoon as long as Congress is in session. Issue #12, Date: Sat Aug 5 03:01:07 EDT 1995 Please widely redistribute this document with this banner intact Redistribute no more than two weeks after above date Reproduce this alert only in relevant forums Distributed by the Voters Telecommunications Watch ( *** Know of someone in NY/NJ with a fax machine but without net *** *** access that's interested in VTW's issues? Tell them to *** *** call and get on our weekly fax distribution list at *** *** (718) 596-2851. *** To get on the distribution list for BillWatch, send mail to with "subscribe vtw-announce Firstname Lastname" in the subject line. Email with "send billwatch" in the subject line to receive the latest version of BillWatch For permission to reproduce VTW alerts in your own publication contact ____________________________________________________________________________ CONTENTS What happened in the last 48 hours? Rumor Central (RC) Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act (HR 1978, S n.a.) (passed in the House, nothing in Senate) 1995 Communications Decency Act (HR 1004, S 314) (passed Senate, a last-minute version passed in the House) 1995 Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act (HR n.a., S 892, Senate hearing scheduled for July 24th) Anti-Electronic Racketeering Act of 1995 (HR n.a., S 974, not currently moving in the Senate) ____________________________________________________________________________ WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST 48 HOURS? On Monday we released an alert asking the net to call their Representatives about supporting parental control as the best method of monitoring children's access to material on the Internet. You responded in spades. We're still digging out of the email, and Steven Cherry (VTW - has been covering most of the mail reply tasks. Fast forward to Friday (8/4) when the House voted on the Telecommunications Reform bill. The Cox/Wyden Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act (HR1978) was brought up as a proposed amendment to the Telecomm Reform bill. HR1978 advocates a "parental control" approach to the issue of children accessing the Internet. It was passed 420-4. On the same day we saw another amendment proposed that would restrict constitutionally-protected expression online. It also was passed, and now goes onto conference with the House-endorsed HR1978 and the Senate-endorsed net-censorship bill (the Exon/Coats Communications Decency Act). What is most disturbing about these new net-censorship amendments is that they were intentionally obscured from any careful examination. HR1978 had been available and well-discussed for weeks before this vote was proposed. In addition, a free demonstration of the "parental control" software discussed in HR1978 was done in mid-July for Congress by members of the Interactive Working Group. As is obvious, every effort was made by sponsors Cox and Wyden to ensure that supporting votes were well-educated votes on this issue. On the other hand, the sponsors of the new net-censorship amendment brought it out at the last-minute. Neither civil liberties groups or even undecided legislators had enough time to examine it, much less poll their constituents about their feelings on it. Furthermore the summary of the legislation did NOT EVEN MENTION the fact that it would create new restrictions on speech. When Steven Cherry (VTW) phoned his Representative's office on Friday to express his displeasure with the new net censorship amendment, a staffer blindly insisted that it wouldn't be voted on, because it wasn't in the summary. It is clear that this Representative isn't the only one who unknowingly cast a vote in favor of censorship today. VTW finds these tactics reprehensible but predictable. Starting in September, the House/Senate conference committee will have to decide what parts of the passed legislation are resolved into the final bill. VTW is optimistic about our odds in this process. But what really happened in the *larger* context of net censorship? Tremendous gains were made today. 420 Reps went on record saying they had thought about the issue and supported a method of monitoring children's acces to the net without endangering free speech. Many of them did so because you called them and told them that's what you wanted. In going through the letters you sent to, we saw several cases like this: Caller #1: I called Rep. Snodgrass about parental control being a better approach to children on the net (such as HR1978), and opposed net censorship. This was the first they've heard of it. Callers #2-5: I called Rep. Snodgrass about HR1978 and parental control and Snodgrass currently has no position. Caller #6: I called Rep. Snodgrass, and a staffer told me Snodgrass will vote for HR1978! YOU HAD AN EFFECT on this process. Just one month ago we had lost this same battle in the Senate (84-16). The best the pro-censorship forces were able to do this time was to sneak in something less than the Communications Decency Act during the last second of the process, hoping that by hiding their legislation they could accomplish their goals. Although it would have been nice to have won this round conveniently and neatly, we have to take our victories as they come to us. In this case, with the help of Reps Cox and Wyden, we were able to tell our legislators that they could do something about the issue of "cyberporn" while preserving the First Amendment. Every one of you that called, wrote, faxed, or drove to DC to speak to your rep should be very proud of yourself. You have made an impact and affected the way that politicians think about this issue. You've also created a record for them about how they've voted on this issue. Democracy does behave as designed sometimes, and we hope your enthusiasm about this motivates you to vote in the next election. VTW will keep you informed about the progress of the conference committee where possible throughout September. ____________________________________________________________________________ RUMOR CENTRAL (RC) [Big news this week on the net censorship issue, see the other sections for details. -Shabbir] Quote of the week "I'm real green at internet. I have no idea where this is going, but I wanted to say thanks, because I had a chance to participate in this vote on restricting Internet. I called my Rep. Nadler and told him how I felt and was glad to be told that he felt the same way and voted against the Exon/Coats CDA." -Submitted by a new net user turned beginning activist A big VTW kudos to Tim Mattox ( who let us know of a problem in BillWatch last week. We had some problems with the mailer daemon that sent back the hearings file. Send your interesting rumors (anonymously or not) to All mail headers will be destroyed. ____________________________________________________________________________ Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act (HR 1978, S n.a.) Description: HR 1978 is an attempt to recognize the unique medium that is online systems and avoid legislating censorship. It would: -prohibit the FCC from regulating constitutionally-protected online speech -absolve sysops and services from liability if they take good faith measures to screen their content or provide parental-screening software See directions below for obtaining analyses from various organizations. House sponsors: Cox (R-CA), Wyden (D-OR) House status: HR 1978 was passed today (8/4/95) by the House in a vote (420-4). It will continue to be refined during the conference process. House actions anticipated: Representatives Cox and Wyden will track their bill through the House/Senate conference committee. Where to get more info: Email: (with "send hr1978" in the subject line) Gopher: gopher -p 1/vtw/exon WWW: ____________________________________________________________________________ 1995 COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT (CDA) (Passed Senate, HR 1004) Description: The CDA would criminalize electronic speech currently protected in print by the First Amendment. House CDA sponsors: Johnson (D-SD) House status: Although HR1004 will probably never leave committee, legislation that would censor the net in a similar manner was introduced into the Telecomm bill at the last minute. It will now go into conference for examination by the House/Senate conference committee. Senate status: The Senate affirmed the Communications Decency Act (84-16) as amended to the Telecommunications Reform bill (S 652). Where to get more info: WWW: Gopher: gopher -p 1/vtw/exon gopher Email: (with "send cdafaq" in the subject line) ____________________________________________________________________________ 1995 Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act (S 892) Description: Would make Internet Service Providers liable for shielding people under 18 from all indecent content on the Internet. Senate sponsors: Dole (R-KS), Coats (R-IN), Grassley (R-IA), McConnell (R-KY), Shelby (R-AL), Nickles (R-OK), Hatch (R-UT) Senate status: A hearing was held Monday July 24th. No action on the bill has happened yet as a result of that hearing. Senate citizen action required: Request bill and analysis below and familiarize yourself with it. House of Representatives status: No House version is known about, although similar language was attached at the last minute to the Telecomm Reform bill. Where to get more info: Email: (with "send s892" in the subject line) WWW: URL: Gopher: URL:gopher:// ____________________________________________________________________________ Anti-Electronic Racketeering Act of 1995 (HR n.a., S 974) Description: S 974 has many effects (not good) on law enforcement's use of intercepted communications. It would also make it unlawful for any person to publicly disseminate encoding or encrypting software including software *currently allowed* to be exported unless it contained a "universal decoding device". This more than likely means that Clipper-style key escrow systems could be disseminated, but not strong, private cryptography. Senate sponsors: Grassley (R-IA) Senate status: Currently not active and probably won't move before the August recess. Senate citizen action required: Request bill below and familiarize yourself with it. VTW is tracking this bill, and will alert you when there is movement. There is no Congressional action to take right now; as other bills (such as the Communications Decency Act) pose a greater, more immediate threat. House of Representatives status: No House version is currently enrolled. Where to get more info: Email: (with "send s974" in the subject line) Gopher: URL:gopher:// ------------------------------ From: Dave++ Ljung Subject: File 4--Re: Intellectual property Date: Mon, 31 Jul 95 10:43:13 MDT Reply to: : Intellectual Property (CuD 7.60, 7.51) | |Keith Graham in CuD #7.60 makes some thoughtful points in response to my |article "Against intellectual property" (CuD #7.51). None of them, though, |undercuts my original arguments. | |There is a strong tendency among those defending intellectual property |(IP) to look only at its benefits and to ignore the benefits of not |having IP. For example, in the case of movies it's easy to point to |the big-budget movies that might not be made without IP. But without |IP, there would be vastly greater opportunities for small producers, |with a great flourishing of film production for niche audiences and |different cultures around the world. These need not be low quality, as |anyone who has attended a film festival should realise. | |Without the monopoly protection of IP, less money would flow to |certain big producers, to be sure. But this would mean that more money |would be available elsewhere, including for jobs for those who modify |existing intellectual products. | |My article did not always distinguish between ideas and information |products, but the distinction is not as great as it may at first |appear. Certainly in the case of writing, ideas are not just altered |but also in a real sense produced in the process of expressing them. |In any case, my point applies in both cases. It doesn't make a lot of |sense to have ownership of things that can be cheaply and easily |copied. | |Does it really require an IP incentive to "clean up" a computer |program? I suggest contacting the Free Software Foundation |( to find out about its GNU Project. (It uses |copyright basically to get around the constraints of copyright, a |process that would be unnecessary without IP.) There's a vast amount |of high-quality free software available. Some say that it's greater in |quantity and quality than commercial software. I know of no impartial |examination. The point is that the existence of such free software |undermines the argument for IP. |Dave Ljung (#7.60) presumes that because my ideas about IP don't seem |to fit in a box called capitalism then they must fit in a box called |socialism. Sorry, but that doesn't explain what I was thinking. Perhaps I should clarify my terms. When I spoke of Capitalism and Socialism I should have realized that they were heavily loaded phrases. I wasn't making any links to any governments that exist or may have existed at some point. I was simply referring to the economic concepts - Capitalism being market/profit based and Socialism being an egalitarian economic system, i.e., spreading the wealth. It seems to me that removing IP will 'spread the wealth.' You even refer to this in your discussion with Keith Graham, claiming: "...less money would flow to certain big producers, to be sure. But this would mean that more money would be available elsewhere, including for jobs for those who modify existing intellectual products" (As a side note, I wonder why you keep ignoring the point that the most money would flow to the people who directly copy existing intellectual products instead of modifying them) You also point out that there would be great opportunities for smaller producers. In a Capitalist system those opportunities are already there if the producers are actually creating marketable products. I don't see how IP is holding them back, I've never heard an art house film producer complain about how they can't make any films because of Jurassic Park. In that sense, then, these opportunities you speak of suggest that they would be creating films for niche audiences that they otherwise could not afford to create. If that is the case, then it is apparent that they are producing something that is worth less (monetarily) than general society is willing to pay for it. When that occurs, the extra money has to come from somewhere, and I don't see where else it would come if it wasn't for socialism. Another problem that you seem to ignore is how you would deal with direct copying. How would any movie get created if someone else could just copy it and show it? The only solution I see for this is Socialism (government support of the original director). If you have some other economic system in mind, let me know. |There are many other areas where most people would oppose having free |markets, such as family members, human organs, university degrees, and There is a difference between life and software (for most people, that is ;). Besides, your analogy doesn't hold up, because none of these can just be copied and passed on. (Except maybe degrees, but degrees aren't under a free market simply because a bought degree would be worthless to a perspective employer). |But there are also many who favour varieties of libertarian socialism, in |which people organise themselves locally to provide goods and services |collectively, but there is no government. Libertarian Socialism either assumes something about human nature or else is an oxymoron. Using IP as an example, if you remove IP and also don't use government Socialism to protect the information providers, than people will copy and reproduce. Please tell us, what is your solution for this? < personal mode > I myself am a Libertarian, but I find some of the concepts in your paper to be offensive to my rights. I agree that there are some problems with IP, but I think the removal is far worse. < end personal mode :) > Regardless - I didn't want this to get into an economic discussion. I'm not upholding Capitalism over Socialism. It just seems (from reading your arguments so far) that removal of IP would be tending towards Socialism (whether it be USSR Socialism or Libertarian Socialism), which is something you don't support directly in your paper. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 5--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. 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