Hacking the Law

· Miscellany

Brian St. Pierre suggests that the Berman/Coble bill may actually represent an opportunity, a sort of open season on hacking, for are we not all copyright holders?

The second opportunity might seem a little scary to some. I’m thinking about the US government here. Consider that there are many small copyright holders in the world who might have an axe to grind against the US government for any number of reasons. Take me, for example. Okay, so I don’t really have any specific reason to want to disrupt the operation of the government. But I do hold a copyright on a number of various small pieces of software. The notification requirement and restrictions on damaging non-owned data might make it tricky, but I can see damage being done to government agencies without any legal recourse. Even if that “damage” is simply disabling a popular, useful piece of software. (Think Apache.) If CSS can be easily cracked, I’m sure that the Berman/Coble Bill could be cracked.