I urge you to oppose the "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act", as discussed in a Wired News article at http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,46655,00.html, when it is brought to the Senate. The bill gives too much power to copyright holders, in that they will be able to heavily restrict fair use, and will also likely provide support for legally viewing their works on one operating system: Microsoft Windows. Anyone running a different operating system, whether Macintosh, Linux, or another variety of Unix, will be left out in the cold. The restricted support has already started happening with CSS-protected DVDs, as there are legal players available only for Windows and Macintosh. This restriction effectively bars other operating systems from legally using copyrighted works, and thus indirectly restricts competition in computer operating systems.

Some things that this bill must address before it is fair to the consumer:

  1. All forms of fair use recognized by courts must be permitted by any copy protection scheme developed under this bill.
  2. The copyright holder, or his agent, must provide the necessary software to use a copyrighted work to any operating system, present or future, if that operating system is otherwise capable of using that particular copyrighted work.
  3. Having a legal right to a copyrighted work must be a complete affirmative defense to bypassing the copy protection scheme.
  4. There must be a known way to negate the copy protection scheme so that anyone can use the protected work when that protection expires.
  5. Researchers who investigate the strength of the protection scheme, and who may break the scheme in the course of their research, must be exempt from prosecution.
  6. The anti-trust exemption must be removed.
  7. The federal sunshine laws must apply to meetings and documents of any committees or groups formed under this bill.
This list is limited; there are likely more problems with the bill that I have not yet found.

Again, I urge you to oppose this bill.

Thank you for your consideration
Michael J. Bauer