DMCA Blocks Tech Progress

Thursday, 20 February 2003, 6:02 PM EST

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is threatening innovation in Silicon Valley, and it's time for businesses and consumers to mobilize to change the law.

That was the message at the Digital Rights Summit here on Wednesday. Intel hosted the event at its Santa Clara headquarters with Digitalconsumer.org, an organization dedicated to protecting consumers' fair-use rights with regard to digital media.

"I'm here today to tell you that I'm scared. Silicon Valley is under threat," said Joe Kraus, co-founder of Digitalconsumer.org. "The DMCA's blatant restriction on circumvention threatens a few of the core foundations of Silicon Valley: interoperability, innovation without prior permission and Silicon Valley's (belief in) empowering the consumer.

"It's the over application of a law meant to prevent Internet piracy being used to prevent legitimate competition. And that's what Silicon Valley has to watch out for and wake up to."

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