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

On Fri, 10 Jan 2003, John Zulauf wrote:
> Ken Arromdee wrote:
> > 
> > No, because the user can refuse to agree to the terms of the EULA.  
> > If he so refuses, he has the rights that he has for use of a gift in
> > the absence of an EULA.
> note the "and on the packaging" quote -- clearly they have communicated
> the absence of a "right-to-use" without additional charge.  In absence
> of the EULA you still don't have the right to make an infringing copies,
> which is was use of the program sans RTU is.
> Again you have lots of fair use "rights."  You can back up the disk, you
> can reverse engineer it, you can try to extract the tax tables (facts
> are not copyrightable).  You just can't run the TurboTax full version
> without the RTU (or do so in a way that replaces your need to obtain the
> RTU).

Ah, no. Assuming that receipt of the installer disk that contains a full 
legal copy of the program conveys ownership, and that the EULA is rejected 
and that that rejection has no effect on the ownership, fair use rights 
aren't implicated AFAICT. 17 U.S.C. 117(a) lets the owner of a copy of a 
computer program make as many copies as he likes if it is (1) a copy 
essential for the purposes of running it on a computer, and not for any 
other reason, or (2) for backup purposes, and isn't kept when its no 
longer rightful to (i.e. when he no longer has a right to the program b/c 
he got rid of it).

These are statutory exemptions, and much stronger than fair use, though
not so widely applicable. The trick is whether or not entering in a key,
or bypassing the key mechanism is legal when done independently. It might
be okay, since the copy is your property. OTOH, it might be a 1201
violation. Or 'fraud against a machine' which is a state issue.  (the
intent being to prohibit getting stuff out of vending machines with the
use of slugs -- but it's sometimes more broadly written than that)