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

Michael A Rolenz wrote:
> the other problem with .002's analogy is "how is TurboTax
> being defrauded?" They actually are not. They are just not getting
> revenue (the activation fee) rather than being forced to spend it (as
> in the post office). TurboTax is in the same situation if nobody
> activates it or if everybody cracks it.

Not quite true, and not particularly interesting.  If noone activates
their disk, some will still be in the market for tax software and might
(upon further review at an online, or retail store) purchase TurboTax. 
Also impacted  are TurboTax's competitors, would get the rest of the
marketshare.  If everyone cracks the product, there will be no one let
interested in buying tax software and no one is compensated.

The loss to TurboTax is a real one not imagined.  TurboTax, as a
copyright holder has certain limited rights.  They have provided (for
your convenience and theirs) a means to obtain the software AND the
right to use it.  Cracking the DRM appropriates the right to use without
compensation. Those who crack are using the results of TurboTax's
labors.   While TurboTax doesn't have a right to profit, they to have
the right to control infringing copies.  Cracking the TurboTax installer
in order to use it for one's taxes (as opposed to for research, sport or
from boredom) is not a fair use as it affects the fair market value, and
thus copies made resulting from the crack are infringing.  One cannot
make infringing copies and then claim not to have injured the producers
or their competitors.

What is interesting to me is that the case for keyware (crack-able or
otherwise) should be a passing issue.  With increase bandwidth and
decreasing cost of production of individually encrypted discs the life
span of these vulnerable distributions is very short.  I'm starting to
see small market software delivered on CD-R.  Add unique per-disk 1024
bit AES encryption (just 39.95 buys you the key) of the install files
and the whole issue evaporates.  Maybe a few people would share a given
key by cracking the online-documentation-and-help-duplicate-ID checks
(like StarCraft checks ID's on Battlenet) but the actual risk of mass
leakage of a master key just dies and with it the DMCA controversy.