New Bill attempts to regulate hardware, software development

From: Jon O. (
Date: 03/22/02

Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 14:24:48 -0800
From: "Jon O." <>

As we are all aware, bugtraq is not a forum to discuss
political issues or laws. However, with the continued
goverment pressure and attempts to reform and regulate
the hardware and software industries, bugtraq readers
should be informed and aware of these new laws which will
no doubt impact all of us.

Senator Hollings is attempting to regulate hardware and software
development. The bill can be reviewed here:

Concerned software developers can submit comments here:

You can review other peoples comments here:

The following senators also support this Bill:
Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii),
John Breaux (D-Louisana) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California).

There is a mailing list discussing these issues here:

----- Forwarded message from Declan McCullagh <> -----

As a bonus, here's a section-by-section summary of the bill:,1283,51275,00.html

And a collection of info on the Consumer Broadband and Digital
Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA):



Anti-Copy Bill Slams Coders By Declan McCullagh (

1:25 p.m. March 22, 2002 PST WASHINGTON -- America's programmers, engineers and sundry bit-heads have not yet figured out how much a new copyright bill will affect their livelihood. When they do, watch for an angry Million Geek March to storm Capitol Hill.

A bill introduced this week by Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina) would roil the electronics industry by forcibly embedding copy protection into all digital devices, from MP3 players to cell phones, fax machines, digital cameras and personal computers. But the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA) would also wreak havoc on programmers and software companies -- both those distributing code for free and those selling it. No more than two years and seven months after the bill becomes law, the only code programmers and software firms will be able to distribute must have embedded copy-protection schemes approved by the federal government. To put this in perspective: The CBDTPA would, if enacted in its current form, have the electrifying effect on computer professionals that the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore did to some Democratic Party members. Legal experts said on Friday that the CBDTPA regulates nearly any program, in source or object code, that runs on a PC or anything else with a microprocessor. That's not just Windows media players and their brethren, as you might expect. The CBDTPA's sweeping definition of "any hardware or software" includes word processors, spreadsheets, operating systems, compilers, programming languages -- all the way down to humble Unix utilities like "cp" and "cat." "The definition will cover just about anything that runs on your computer -- except maybe the clock," said Tom Bell, a professor at Chapman University School of Law who teaches intellectual property law.


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