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RE: [dvd-discuss] Internet: an independent country?
- To: <dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu>
- Subject: RE: [dvd-discuss] Internet: an independent country?
- From: "Glendon M. Gross" <gross(at)xinetd.ath.cx>
- Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 14:29:11 -0700
- Importance: Normal
- In-reply-to: <email@example.com>
- Reply-to: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
I don't understand the logic behind the judge denying this motion. It is
almost as if the DMCA is a new kind
of "manifest destiny" that is being used to impose U.S. laws and customs on
the rest of the world. The fact
that this was not a U.S. corporation should have exempted them from
From the court decision:
"The court need not reach the issue of whether the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act has extraterritorial application
because the trafficking conduct for which defendants have been charged
occurred in the United States. The conduct
which underlies the indictment includes Elcomsoft's offering its AEBPR
program for sale over the internet, from a
computer server physically located in the United States. Purchasers
obtained copies of the program in the United
States. A copy of the program was sold to a purchaser in California.
Payments were directed to, and received by, an
entity in the United States.
There is sufficient conduct occurring within the United States for there to
be subject matter jurisdiction over this
matter on a territorial basis.
Defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction is therefore denied."
This argument seems very short-sighted to me. For example, if I were to say
that anyone doing business in the U.S. is
subject to our laws, that makes sense. But someone selling a product that
was developed in another country,
having nothing to do with the U.S. except that the web server was located
here, should not be subject to
the same kind of jurisdiction. The law is obviously infringing on the
rights of the citizens of other countries.
I wonder if the DMCA in itself violates international law? Even if it
doesn't, foreign governments have reason to
be concerned when the Internet, which is supposedly an international
resource, is being used to cram U.S. law down
the throats of citizens of foreign governments, which are supposed to be
sovereign. The enforcement of the DMCA has
already lead to conduct which violates our own Bill of Rights.
This kind of narrow-minded decision making borders on despotism, and
concerns me a great deal. It would appear
to have the potential to damage the very liberty that the internet is
celebrated for. Who wants to invest in
internet commerce when any little country with obscure laws on its books
could haul our citizens to jail because
something is being "trafficked" with on the internet that violates that
obscure law? How are we to know that
there is no law against what we take as a matter of course in some obscure
yet connected country? As more and more
countries are developed and come online, this would appear to be an issue
that will need to be addressed again and
again. I am afraid of the international precedent this case will set if it
is not thrown out of court. And in view of
this, it is no surprise that internet stocks are on the decline.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Roy Murphy
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] Internet: an independent country?
'Twas brillig when Jim Bauer scrobe:
> Has anyone pursued the idea of the Internet being "independent"?
> Either as its own country (assuming one can have a country without
> land), or perhaps more like how Antarctica is handled.
I'm surprised that no one has brought up Elcomsoft. They filed a
motion for dismissal for lack of jurisdiction on the basis that
activities took place on the internet. Notable quote from the reply
brief: "The Internet is a Place Outside of the Territorial Jurisdiction
of the United States."
The motion was denied.
Elcomsoft Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Jan. 14, 2002)
ElcomSoft Reply to Government Opposition to Motion to Dismiss
Indictment for Lack of Jurisdiction (Feb. 25, 2002)
Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Lack of
Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Mar. 27, 2002)
Roy Murphy \ CSpice -- A mailing list for Clergy Spouses
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