OpenBSD Journal

SSSCA: Will it affect OpenBSD?

Contributed by webmaster on from the alt.clueless.futile dept.

Bill A writes : "I found this summary on politechbot regarding a new bill proposed in the Commerce Commitee of the US Congress. My understanding is that it will require US Govt approved copy controls placed on all software and hardware distributed in the US . Does anyone know how this might affect future distributions of OpenBSD in the US if it passes? More or less I am meaning mirrors, and some of the dev team. I am actually concerned that this bill will pass, either the first or second time around....the DMCA passed in the US with a 99-0 voice vote. There is a similar story on Slashdot , with all the usual signal:noise."

Any legal types out there? It occurs to me that it may hinge on the definition of: "copyrighted material or other protected content"

"Sec. 102: Preservation of the Integrity of Security
An interactive computer service shall store and transmit with integrity any security measure associated with certified security techologies that is used in connection with copyrighted material or other protected content such service transmits or stores."

(Comments are closed)

  1. By wysoft () on

    Well, some parts of the proposed bill seem rather vague. A few paragraphs even start with the words "in general", and (I'm just taking this from memory after reading it, and I just had a few beers :) it regards all interactive devices which receive input, process, and produce output. This would include anything as simple as a calculator, no?

    I would have to assume that if this bill is carried any further, it would have to be hammered out a bit to be more specific in terms of what it applies to.

    Still, I'm afraid of what may happen. If this bill passes and no OpenBSD-compatible framework for the "copyright security" is implemented, then OpenBSD (along with MANY other software packages) may actually become illegal to install and use in the U.S.

    Apparently, the proposed bill excludes systems which are running copies of an OS which were legally obtained and installed prior to the passing of the law (which hopefully won't happen), and so most current installations are NOT in violation of the law.

    In my own personal opinion, this issue has been blown way out of proportion so far. I'm glad that a lot of people are upset, but some folks are already treating it as if it has been passed (Slashdot, notably). I have a small amount of faith that this bill will fail, as this is a JUMP in the wrong direction compared to the small step that the DMCA was. However, let's not forget that the DMCA passed too :)

  2. By Alex de Haas () on


    I always thought Americans were almost religiously
    obsessed on their right of freedom to choose
    their own path, et cetera.

    So I'm rather puzzled by the actions of the American
    legislative bodies cutting away a number of choices
    an American citizen can make.

    So, can anyone point me to a book/website that provides
    an analysation and/org explanation for that -in
    my eyes- odd behaviour?


  3. By Anonymous Coward () on

    I'm glad I'm Canadian, damn...

  4. By Noryungi () n o r y u n g i @ y a h o o . c o m on

    In the short term, if this becomes law , I don't think this is going to be bad for OpenBSD: the project is based in Canada, and therefore won't be affected On the other hand, if this becomes law , It will affect the OpenBSD users and OpenBSD contributors who are based in the USA. The question now becomes: how many of these contributors actually live in the USA? 50%? 60%? Less? More? The interesting part would be to study very carefully what influence (if any) this will have on European and Canadian law: if they can be influenced by this bad example (with the introduction of similar bills), the situation could become very nasty for OpenBSD and other open source projects. On the other hand, it is also highly possible that european countries would reject this law as the repugnant corporate ___-kissing it really is (IMHO). There is still a pending EU investigation into Mirco$soft (tm) monopolistic practices, for instance. Reminds me of the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live through interesting times...". Just my US$ 0.02. Standard disclaimers apply (IANAL, etc.).

  5. By Bill Schaub () on

    If this bill passes I can't find a good reason to
    stay in the US. I won't stand around and take this bullshit. I also won't be optimistic enough to think that things will go anywhere but rapidly into the shitter if this law passes.

    So if it does I'm going into "get the hell out of dodge while the getting is good" mode.

  6. By knomevol () on

    Feds may as well add my name to the list, because if this proposal makes it into law I will revolt with every ounce of my being.

    It is anti-FREEDOM, it is anti-DEMOCRATIC, and it is anti-AMERICAN.

    I think Osoma bin Laden must have motivated these two senators or congressmen to propose this legislation, because it SICK, DEMENTED and will be cause for REVOLUTION to get the terrorists that have infiltrated the American government OUT.


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