The Massachusetts Committee on Criminal Justice held hearings yesterday on House Bill No. 2743 (pdf), "legislation to establish a crime of illegal internet and broadband access and establishing penalties therefor". Derek Slater has notes. John Palfrey of the Berkman Center at Harvard testified at the hearing about how there are already plenty of laws criminalizing theft, but this new bill will cause many problems with all kinds of technologies. Matthew Morse also attended and testified (more info from him here) about the harms this bill would cause. Amy Isabelle of the MPAA also testified, saying this bill was about theft, not copyright but agreed that it might need revising to fix problems. Derek was there before Matt and they missed each other, so check both sets of notes for information about what happened at the hearing. All of these notes and presentations are well worth reading. These state level DMCA's are far more draconian than the DMCA, and very little attention is being give to the bills, or was given to the seven (yes, seven!) laws already enacted.
Check out Ed Felten's latest on the Super (Mini) DMCAs. He reviews the language of the bills and what a mess this will cause for the Internet and many of the technologies we use to communicate as well as research into encryption and security.
Update 04/03/03: Derek Slater has an update on the revised version of the bill from the MPAA, and has a quick analysis.
Update 04/04/03: Corrected Author Matthew Morse's name.Posted by Mary Hodder at April 03, 2003 07:20 AM