My reply is posted only to Hackers-IL mailing list, so that people won't
have to download 3-6 copies of each E-mail message (OK, I exaggerated -
everyone except for me will avoid getting extra copy, I'll avoid getting 2
extra copies :-) ).
On Fri, 5 Apr 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:
> Now in Israel, how exactly will a law like DMCA be different than laws and
> "de facto" "rules" we see all around us? The government, religious
> establishment, army, and even companies force you to do stuff that would
> be unimaginable in the US. You are not allowed to serve bread in a certain
> week of the year, you can be refused a job or place of study because of
> your faith or ethnic origin, you are not allowed to marry whomever you
> want (unless you can afford leaving the country), you (depending again on
> your ethnic origin) are forced into slave-labor for 3 years (with a salary
> which is 1/10 of the minimum wage). Your real choices when it comes to
> banking, phone service, cable company, radio, and so on are severely limited.
> In addition to heavy direct taxes (income tax) and indirect taxes (VAT), you
> are charged weird special taxes, like a special penalty for buying a TV
> (meches), or a special penalty for getting a mortgage (mas bulim). If you
> buy a TV, you are forced to pay a certain company ("Rashut Hashidur") for
> their single channel - whether you like it or not. Most of these laws
> (except income tax and VAT) serve no social purpose except to glorify
> certain politicians, religions, companies or agenda.
In Israel there is a trend of converging toward the American way of
government, as people here learn over the years what the Europans and
Americans learned in 18th century - that a system of checks and balances
in government is necessary to prevent abuses.
Here in Israel, better laws, and beginnings of constitution are gradually
forming, as people abuse their powers and cause us to learn not to trust
But my reason of concern is not so much the principle of personal liberty
(which exists as long as people can freely emigrate from Israel and take
reasonable part of their capital with them) but the danger to
Israeli innovation and startups. (This is like the difference in emphasis
between Free Software and Open Source, except that in Israeli politics I
am arguing from the side of Open Source.)
As long as I develop software in Israel and can avoid exporting it to
certain countries, I don't want to endure sleepless nights due to
concerns about unknown submarine software patents. I don't want the
Israeli blind to have their access to the contents of E-books restricted
due to laws like DMCA (Sklyarov's "illegal" software is needed exactly
for such a reason). I don't want to risk the possibility of criminalizing
the act of transcribing copyrighted voice recordings into text for the
benefit of the deaf. I don't want to see Israeli innovation stifled due
to laws imposed upon Israel by bigger and more imprialistic countries.
There is no IGLU Cabal. This organization is outlaw.
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