Re: [linux-audio-user] Licences are *not* contracts (Was: Re: Free Software vs. Open Source)

From: Frank Wales <frank@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Wed Mar 01 2006 - 01:48:12 EET

On 02/28/2006 11:22 PM, Jan Depner wrote:
> All of the above was sounding really good up to the last paragraph.
> That was sounding good too until you hit "reverse engineer for the
> purposes of interoperability". Even then it would be OK if you include
> the caveat that the software (or other "intellectual property") must not
> be protected by any form of encryption to protect intellectual property.
> If it is, then you are in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright
> Act in the US if you reverse engineer or otherwise try to break the
> protection. You're probably OK in the EU but I'm not positive.

Oh, I didn't want to go near DMCA-type stuff, but I didn't
consider that relevant to the general discussion. I take your
point that, if you have to defeat an access-control mechanism
to get to the underlying data, you're skating on thin legal ice,
and you really *must* obtain good legal counsel, even in the EU.

This is actually an area where software vendors have been abusing
copy-control mechanisms, which were intended to prevent piracy,
in order to deny paying customers their legal rights in
property they have legitimately acquired. But it doesn't take
away those rights, just makes it harder to benefit from them.

> Other than that one little point, I give you an A+ on this term paper ;-)

Thanks very much; I'll try harder next time, Professor. ;-)

Frank Wales [frank@email-addr-hidden]
Received on Wed Mar 1 04:15:07 2006

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