ConCall among S-DMCA opponents

The EFF and others have organized a conference call this afternoon for those opposed to the Super-DMCAs.  It’s fascinating to hear what people in various states are doing to organize and where each of the bills are in the process.  Lots of discussion of the value of the EFF resources, the Freedom-to-Tinker info, and the informal network of people thinking about why these bills are undesirable.

* For those in Massachusetts, EFF offers an easy way to send word to your representative.

* In most states, the S-DMCAs are being pitched as “updates” to existing cable legislation, while in most instances there’s no need for these anti-stealing and anti-hacking laws when there are larceny statutes on the books in every state.

* Opponents of the bill in TN are getting organized and are seeking support from lawyers, law school profs and the like.  The timeline is very short — a few days away.

* There’s a problem regarding legislators’ lack of understanding of the tech and the impact of these laws.  There’s an education curve that’s critical to overcome.

Grokster opinion: quick reads on some good news

Quick reads on the Grokster opinion:

* the district court judge in California breathed some much-needed life back into the Sony case; 

* Substantial non-infringing use got some good play;

* The judge distinguished the post-Napster technologies from the Napster technologies very ably; and,

* I was particularly interested in the line that says that “additional legislative guidance may be well-counseled.”  (p. 33 of 34)  Judges are funny, aren’t they?  Read: please make some sensible law in this area and resolve the mess we’ve gotten ourselves in.

Ed Felten, CS prof at Princeton and of SDMI and other fame, has a very good quick take here.  He comes out at the same place I do, which is that attention may now turn to the legislature to sort this out.

Frank Field, of course, has the story off the bat, as does Donna Wentworth, with a nice synthesis.  A remarkably good, long piece on  I will wait patiently to hear more from Derek, who’s enjoying the sunshine.

Update: Massachusetts Super-DMCA Won't Move Soon

I just spoke to a senior committee staffer in the Criminal Justice joint committee of the Massachusetts State House.  She told me they continue to be deluged with negative commentary about HR 2743, the proposed Super-DMCA bill for Massachusetts (i.e., that lots of people are telling her that the bill is ill-conceived and shouldn’t be passed).  She also said that there’s no chance it’s moving anywhere for at least a month, given that it’s budget time and also they haven’t gotten through all their hearings (last one May 28).  In legislative process, delay tends to be good for opponents of bills.  So do lots and lots of negative comments inundating committee staffers.  Keep it up, software and public interest community and voters of Massachusetts!

Jamaica at Harvard

For some years, Prof. Charles Nesson has been working on a project to making learning fun, particularly using Internet technologies, in Jamaica.  That’s what Becca and Wayne are up to this Spring, keeping a wonderful blog of their experiences.  One of his strategies has been to try to bring attention to some of the tremendous talent and content — music, film, theater, writing — developed by Jamaican artists.  One of those artists, the renowned playwright Trevor Rhone, is visiting Harvard this week.  He’s performing a live reading from his play, “Bellas Gate Boy,” tonight, Friday, April 25, 2003, at 7:00 p.m., in the Adams House Lower Common Room (located on Plympton Street in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA).  For more information, please e-mail Mark McIntosh at  The event is free and open to the public.