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

On Fri, Jan 10, 2003 at 01:42:46PM -0700, John Zulauf wrote:
> > They have no right to determine the personal use that I make of it.  
> Actually they do.  I just depends on whether your personal use infringes
> their copyrights, or constitutes fair use.  It doesn't matter that the
> work is in a digital medium.  If there were some way to infringe the
> copyrights of a paper and ink book through personal use, restricting
> those things would be their right as well.

How exactly is installing the program different to reading a book in this

> The only restrictions they can impose are those covered by copyright. 
> In other words, what kind of copies you can make and for what purpose --

I'm not sure of the situation in the US, but as far as I'm aware, in Germany
copyright does *not* allow the copyright hodler to determine what kind of
copies can be made, only whether they can be distributed or publicly

> with those restrictions clearly limited by "ordinary use" (L Lessig
> points out that reading a book isn't "fair use" it is an expected,
> "ordinary use.")

Yet running a computer program is not?

> > I 'fixed' it for my personal use.  
> What did that "fix" entail.  Making unauthorized copy of the copyright
> work they sent you, (and some other actions, either patching the binary,
> or creating a key).  The question that is left is, "were the
> unauthorized copies fair use."

You seem to be buying into the "Loading into RAM is copying, therefore
requires the authorisation of the copyright holder, therefore can be subject
to licensing agreements." argument of the software industry. I would argue
that the creation of copies that are required for the work in question to be
used at all would also fall under ordinary use. Current legal precedents do
seem to say the opposite, however, but I suspect that's due to the judges in
question not understanding the nature of software.


"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)