Craven de Kere wrote:
Thing is, I see a parallel in the copyright infringement cases. It's not just illegal to steal copyrighted work but also to disseminate information on how to do it.
By that reckoning the Anarchist's Cookbook would be illegal (if it had had any useful information).
I don't think this is correct.
Most universities, for example, offer courses in cryptography. To do cryptography well (i.e. to make your software secure), you need to know how to crack encryption schemes. I don't think it is either productive or legally possible to prevent the dissemination of this type of knowledge.
There are many ways to disseminate information on how to steal copyrighted work. Last year, there were CNN stories about how a kid defeated the new Sony (I may have the details wrong) CD copy protection with a black permanent marker. These strories gave me the information I needed to do the same thing. I think these were protected.
I can also tell you how to rip a CD onto your compter and how to burn a new CD. This information allows anyone with minimal intellegence to copy CD's illegally. But, there are perfectly legal reasons to do either of these things. Should I be prohibited from teaching these skills?
I think the DMCA is deeply flawed. I think that it will continue to have problems in the court.
And remember, 30-some years ago companies were trying to ban VCR's because they could be used to steal copyrighted work.
I may be misunderstanding your points. If so, could you give some concrete examples?