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Re: [dvd-discuss] Postage Meters and the "Right to Tinker"

On Thu, Jan 09, 2003 at 10:25:13AM -0700, John Zulauf wrote:
> How does "charging" the postal meter differ from "authorizing" the
> installer to install TurboTax.  Aside from an authorization the postal
> meter is also "all there".  The ink is installed, the print programs
> installed, the print head functional, etc.

The difference as I see it is that the postage stamps are not valuable in
and of themselves. They are merely tokens that "prove" to the postal service
that you have paid for its services. Passing off fake tokens as genuine,
even if they were generated by a machine whose original purpose was
to produce real tokens is, IMO fraud.

In the case of TurboTax, you are not using the data they sent you to obtain
services they would otherwise charge for. You are using information they
have already sent you, *without* extracting any additional goods or services
from them.


"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of
arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for
freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot
stand." (Ambassador G'Kar, Babylon 5)