[free-sklyarov] Headline juxtaposition

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Tue Aug 7 07:36:00 PDT 2001

Christopher R. Maden writes:

> Reading the NandO Times (<URL: http://www.nando.net/ >), I found it 
> interesting that Dmitry's bail release was right next to "Gunmaker not 
> liable for use of weapons in 1993 shootings, California court rules".  The 
> analogy between the liability of a gun manufacturer for illegal uses, and 
> the liability of AEBPR's author for potential illegal uses, seems obvious.

I saw mention of this juxtaposition on dvd-discuss.

The only trouble is that there was explicit legislation to create
liability for manufacturers of circumvention technology.  There's no
explicit legislation (in California) to create liability for
manufacturers of guns.

This is the exact reason why the nice precedent in _Universal v. Sony_
may not help DMCA defendants.  The Court there held that _existing law_
provided no liability for manufacturers of VCRs, so movie studios'
attempts to make them illegal under various strange contributory _____
theories failed.  But apparently the Court also suggested in dicta
that Congress _could_ outlaw VCRs, if it wanted to, and there wouldn't
necessarily be anything wrong with legislation that did that.

This sort of thing is why you hear the copyright industries being
really strong on "deferring to the will of Congress".  That way when
you say "a court held similar behavior legal in 1984!" or whatever,
they can say "yes, it wasn't illegal then, but it is now".

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org>  | Lending, printing, copying, giving
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