Susheel Daswani writes in to let us know that Rep. Lamar Smith is planning to introduce new legislation sometime soon that would expand the DMCA in some fairly draconian ways. Among the provisions is one that, instead of just banning the distribution of tools that circumvent copy protection methods would make it illegal to simply possess such tools. As the article notes, if that became law, anyone who had a security product that removed Sony's rootkit would be breaking the law. Obviously, this seems to be taking the DMCA in the wrong direction -- and shows a scary misunderstanding of how much harm the law has caused. Unfortunately, the law also has the backing of many software firms, because they hope to use its overly broad powers against software copyright infringement as well -- not recognizing how much harm they may be doing to their own industry if they go down that path. Rep. Smith is scheduled to give some opening remarks at the Cato event I'm participating in this week, if anyone wants to stop by. It's not clear if the event will allow for questions of Rep. Smith (or, of course, whether or not Rep. Smith will bother to listen to any objections).
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