Yikes, the United States Copyright Office requested comments on whether requiring users to utilize Microsoft Internet Explorer to pre-register commercial copyrighted material would pose any problems. Well duh — of course it would because it would mandate that individuals and companies boot up a security hazard.
This is what the request for comments said:
The Copyright Office is supplementing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on preregistration of copyright claims, issued July 22, 2005. That notice proposed procedures to preregister any unpublished work being prepared for commercial distribution that is in a class of works determined by the Register of Copyrights to have had a history of pre-release infringement. Today’s notice seeks information as to whether persons filing the electronic-only preregistration form prescribed by the Copyright Office will experience difficulties if it is necessary to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser in order to preregister a work.
Fortunately Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, is once again advocating for open source – vendor neutral standards, especially from the United States Government. He filed a comment that is posted at W3C and was filed with the Copyright Office before the August 22nd deadline.
Perhaps the ultimate irony is that the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), part of the United States Department of Homeland Security, established in 2003 to protect the nation’s Internet infrastructure, has itself recommended against the use of Internet Explorer as recently as June of 2004. Indeed just this month, CERT published yet another security alert regarding Microsoft Internet Explorer security holes.
Come-on Copyright Office, get a clue!