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[FYI] "Computer code is a form of free speech"


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Boffins back 2600 over DeCSS ruling  

By: Lucy Sherriff  

Posted: 25/01/2001 at 12:00 GMT  

Computer Science professors have come out in support of the quarterly 
hackers magazine, 2600 Magazine, which is currently embroiled in a 
legal battle over DeCSS, a program that decrypts data on DVDs.  

The District Court in the Southern District of New York issued an 
injunction prohibiting 2600 Magazine from hosting or linking to the 

In all, 17 professors from MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Carnegie 
Mellon University, among others, have stated their opposition to the 
ruling in an "amicus" briefing. They claim that computer code is a 
form of free speech, and as such is protected by the First Amendment. 
"Copyright law already recognises that code, both source and object, 
may be copyrighted as a literary work or an original work of 
authorship. It does not take a leap of faith to say that a 
copyrightable literary work is a work entitled to full First 
Amendment protections, regardless of its functionality," they said.  


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