"We have witnessed a slow and steady erosion of the ability of Internet and IT developers to freely develop innovative products," states a draft document proposing the formation of GeekPAC. In recent years, attempts to crack down on illegal copying by outlawing some technologies have outraged developers, but few technologists have had the time or political wherewithal to challenge proposed legislation. The most high-profile law so far has been the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has landed one developer in jail and led to countless threats of enforcement against other programmers.
Most recently, Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, D-S.C., introduced legislation that would require government-mandated copy-protection technology in consumer devices. The bill, a Hollywood-sponsored attempt to thwart piracy, has alarmed many technology companies and executives, who are rushing to stop it.