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Submission from Stephen Scovil received on July 28, 2001 4:50 PM via e-mail

Subject: Copyright Reform

I'm just offering my opinions that I do not agree with the suggested Digital Copyright Reform. I do believe that some copyright laws may need to change to help support artists and studios, etc. with the distrobution of their work but the protection of their rights should not come at the expense of those who wish to understand any given software or any data. I feel the extreme stance of disallowing understanding the program or file hurts fair use of a product and the freedom to customize and re-engineer a program or data file shouldn't be restrained. I'd prefer copyright protection on a case by case basis, and expect the companies will work to rely on a solid technical solution instead of legal attacks . Take them as they come, but it shouldn't hurt those who understand or wish to understand their legally owned products.

I believe allowing others to understand and create their own work to act in a similar mannor or be compatible with formats has been of great benefit to both industry and consumer, creating compatible products and standard protocols, and increasing competition by allowing many companies or individuals to bring their own ideas and push the technology farther. Such competition and advancement is strongly helped by many companies or individuals working on their own to understand others' structures and formats and implementing them in their own products. A good example is the IBM PC. When Compaq, followed by others, reverse engineered the original BIOS chip on the IBM PC, it opened up all sorts of possibilities, allowed lower cost, higher power PC's from all sorts of makers, opened up the market for computer hardware and helped build the high power equipment for personal computers today. We may not have see how something that big can open up from such a small thing back at that time, but looking back, we can see how beneficial it has been. I'm asking you to please consider this as the reform is being debated.

Thank you for listening.
Stephen Scovil,
(address removed)

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