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

On 9 Jan 2003 at 16:26, Richard Hartman wrote:

Subject:        	RE: [dvd-discuss] Postage Meters and the "Right to Tinker"
Date sent:      	Thu, 9 Jan 2003 16:26:24 -0800
From:           	"Richard Hartman" <hartman@onetouch.com>
To:             	<dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
Send reply to:  	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: John Zulauf [mailto:johnzu@ia.nsc.com]
> ...
> > 
> > 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.  
> But it is a loss that _they_ incurred when they
> made a gift of that CD to me.  I now own it, just
> as I own that DVD of "Die Hard" we've been using
> as our parallel example.
> If it weren't for that 'gift' aspect, then I wouldn't
> have any problems w/ the idea that hacking past the
> DRM is theft of their product.  For example, if I
> made a copy of that CD and gave it to you, that would
> be theft (although if I gave you the original, it
> would merely be a transfer of property...)

In addition to the GIFT aspect..There's another subtle aspect here. There is no 
contractual relationship between TurboTax and the recipient yet via the DMCA 
TurboTax is able to create one (allowing this argument). What obligation do you 
have to TurboTax? Legally or ethically? Let's take this one step farther. 
Suppose they are able to code your address with each CD. You throw it out and 
the dumpster diver gets it. You donate it to goodwill. You give it away...and 
the CD falls into the hands of the "jacker hacker cracker " who posts copies 
all over the place with YOUR address attached and now you have to defend 
yourself...is this that farfetched? It's where Palladium, Intel, MPAA, RIAA 
seem to want to put things. 

The purpose of the statutes was to prevent the establishment of UNSOLICITED 
contracts and what TurboTax has done is exactly that.