posted Aug 08, 2001 The End of Innovation?
'So it's this kind of panic, that once there's any breach in the dam, then that's the end of all creative activity, which just seems to me to be completely unconsidered. You know, it's a messy world in all contexts and what we typically do is accept that freedom entails a certain amount of law breaking, and that doesn't mean you embrace law breakers or say that they should go free. People who are cracking copyright for the purpose of distributing content contrary to the legitimate control of the copyright owner or people who are cracking content for the purpose of redistributing for commercial purposes other people's content -- are criminals and they should be prosecuted as such. But you shouldn't lock up every technologist and make it impossible for them to experiment with encryption technologies merely because there are criminals out there. We don't do that with guns. I mean that's the bizarre thing, you know -- that employees at Smith & Wesson don't have to fear that the FBI is going to swoop down and arrest them because their products led to somebody being killed, yet employees of software companies need to fear that some FBI agent is going to swoop down and arrest them because it's possible that somebody used their code to steal the latest John Grisham novel.'

I'm exercising my fair use rights to quote an extract and comment on it. If the web page had been protected as viciously as Lessig is complaining about, I could now fear the FBI swooping down on me and arresting me. Would that be just?



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