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March 15, 2002

Cold dead fingers (2) Instapundit wants to know why it’s okay for Dianne Feinstein’s aide to pirate a copy of Shrek off the net, while Dmitri Sklyarov got prosecuted by the United States Government without committing any actual piracy at all.

Evidently it’s okay for Congressional aides to commit felonies in order to provide their bosses with props to wave at hearings, but if you write software in another country that might be used to break encryption on someone’s copyrighted material here, you can be slammed in jail when you touch American soil.

These people really do mean to replace your computers with government-regulated set-top boxes. Their plans are well advanced. I’m glad a bunch of outspoken conservatives and libertarians are raising the alarm on the SSSCA, but Hollywood’s determination to ban the user-programmable computer is an issue that should alarm everyone with an IQ greater than seafood. Now.

It’s also a wake-up call, because by and large, it’s Democratic legislators (property of the entertainment industry) who are pushing this stuff, and while a lot of Republican legislators (property of various other industries) are acquiescing to it, what opposition there is mostly comes from Republicans. Smart GOP strategists will certainly note this issue’s potential for peeling core Democratic voters away from their party. I’ve voted for Democrats most of my life, but I’ll certainly never again vote for a Democrat who supports the SSSCA or anything like it. Which raises the very real possibility that there won’t be a Democrat I can vote for in 2004. I don’t think my feelings on this issue reflect a majority’s sentiments, but I think there are a lot more of me than the clever-dick staffers of Senators like Feinstein, Kerry, and Hollings realize. You can have our Turing machines when you pry them out of our… [09:01 PM]

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