October 16, 2006 · Lessig
TechWorld (a UK publication) has an article about a “leaked” letter from the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) (apparently MSFT funded) about, as the article puts it, the “potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given to open source software development.”
Nothing weird there. What is weird is, first, that such a letter has to be “leaked” (aren’t submissions to the EC a matter of public record?), and, second, the way in which the letter is made available on the TechWorld website. TechWorld gives you a link to the letter. The link states: “You can view the entire letter here.” And indeed, the link means what it says. You can ONLY view the letter. The PDF is locked so that it can’t be printed.
Is it really the case that copyright law would forbid a letter written to a government agency from being printed on a users computer?
Note, this is a simple restriction to get around (but is that legal?): If you’ve got access to Acrobat Professional, you can save a version and turn off the password security (apparently without the password, as I did).