Interesting article on The Register about how Red Hat is helping make the DMCA look ridiculous. They’ve released a kernel patch that addresses a security problem. To get details about the patch that explain the problem, you must first agree to a license in which you state that you are not under US jurisdiction. Otherwise, see, there’s danger of violating the DMCA.

Red Hat explains:

RHSA-2002-158 is an errata kernel which addresses certain security vulnerabilities. Quite simply, these vulnerabilities were discovered and documented by ppl outside of the US, and due to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act legislation in the US, it is potentially dangerous to disclose any information on security vulnerabilities, which may also be used in order to circumvent digital security – i.e. computer security. For this reason, RH cannot publish this security information, as it is not available from the community in the first instance. The site allows for accessing this information, but requires you agree to terms which protect the author and documenter of the patches from being accusations that they themselves have breached DMCA.

What a mess. How long do you figure before Congress realizes what a mess they’ve made of things with this lousy legislation?