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may 2nd is owned
Posted: 2003-04-09 12:21
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Author: Phil Gengler
Section: Stuff

I just got off the phone with Rob Kasunic of the Copyright Office, and it appears that I will indeed be taking a trip to Washington, DC, for an afternoon hearing on May 2nd. It seems that in the wake of organizing this Friday's hearing, and reorganizing the other dates, those who have had their requests accepted are just being notified now.

Since no update is complete at just a single paragraph, the NY Times brings news that Republicans want to make some anti-terrorism powers permanent. Certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act are set to 'expire' in 2005, a move that was important to get support for the bill in the first place. It's rumored that the changes will be attached to another anti-terrorism bill due for a vote before the full Senate late this month.

Do Ashcroft's actions of late seem to parallel the McCarthyism of the early 1950s? I'm not the only one who thinks so. If I had any artistic talent, I would draw a political cartoon of this: the left half, captioned '1953', would have Sen. McCarthy holding a newspaper and shouting 'Communists!', while the right half, titled '2003' would have A.G. Ashcroft in the same setting, except he would be shouting 'Terrorists!'.

The President of MTU doesn't seem too happy about the RIAA's recent move against one of MTU's students. The basis of the response is that MTU should have been consulted in some way before this action was taken, so that the MTU administration could have dealt with the situation beforehand. Some of the disappointment expressed by MTU President Curtis Tompkins stems from the prior cooperation between MTU and the RIAA. At some point, the RIAA will have to realize that it can't just go around and piss off everyone it has dealings with, like they've been doing for the past few years.

David Rocci, a retailer of mod chips for the Xbox, has been sentanced to 5 months in prison, 5 months of home detention, 3 years probation, and a $28,500 fine. For what? For selling mod chips, which allegedly are circumvention devices under the DMCA. The government's claim was that the mod chip allowed pirated software to be played on the Xbox. Despite the fact that mod chips have perfectly legitimate uses, like playing imported games, they are frequently presented by some as having only one purpose: pirating games. Of course, the DMCA's 'criminalize everything' technique, or at least, the application of that technique in the name of the DMCA is getting ridiculous.


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