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

At 10:00 -0700 1/10/03, John Zulauf wrote:
>(Note 0) Cracking the TurboTax installer (regardless of what we think of
>p-spam) clearly isn't fair use, not only locally in the impact on the
>value of retail versions of the TurboTax files, buy also globally on the
>impact on the market value of all tax software -- and antithetical to
>progress.  Remember, every warez Photoshop copy is users subtracted from
>The Gimp, Ulead, or others Adobe's competitors.

So it depends on the impact on the market for the product?  Imagine 
this scenario ...

It's a few years ago, just as movies on DVD are about to be 
introduced for the first time.  I'm Sony, and I'd like to create a 
market for the DVD players I'm about to release.  Someone in 
Marketing comes up with an interesting plan.  We already have a list 
of customers of our high-end audio/video equipment from product 
registrations.  Let's send each of these customers a package of a few 
Sony-owned movies on DVD, along with a videocassette explaining the 
wonders of the DVD format, showing them interactive menus, director's 
commentaries, chapter marks for random access, etc. and telling them 
about the great picture quality.  The hope is that this will push the 
high-end customers who have already been considering a DVD player 
over the edge and make them buy one, since they will already have a 
kick-start to their eventual DVD collection.

And the DMCA has been passed already, since we at Sony were thinking ahead.

So now imagine you're one of the customers who receives that package 
of DVDs.  Are you within your rights to reverse-engineer a software 
player for those DVDs on your (very expensive at the time) DVD-ROM 
drive?  If you do, it'll surely impact the market for software and 
hardware DVD players, since you may not need to buy one from Sony, or 
from any of their competitors, for that matter.

Adam Wells
These opinions are not necessarily those of my employer.  Heck, they 
may not even be my own.