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Re: [tlug] GPL Quote

> Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2008 15:06:07 +0900
> From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
> Message-ID: <>
> That is *not true* in the U.S.  There are many common practices
> (backup, time-shifting, media conversion) which U.S. courts have
> determined are "fair use" or have implied licenses.

Actually, speaking of "fair use", it has been repeatedly said[1] that
in US, outside of the explicitly granted rights, fair use is decided
by courts on case by case basis (they know it wen they see it). Having
a precedent makes a case stronger, but a corporation big enough can
still file a suit and force a person into settlement (or bankruptcy.)
There are no universal rules about the size of quotation[2], intended
audience and the purpose of replication that will grant fair use.

> Under the DMCA, reverse
> engineering, except for purpose of making archival backups *for public
> libraries* is explicitly disallowed.  Also, some of the implied
> licenses can be revoked by explicit terms in the EULA, others cannot.
> BTW, violating the DMCA by circumventing "technical means" is a
> criminal act, whatever you believe the ethics/morality is.  Giving
> misinformation on these points is not a friendly thing to do.

Again, some of the big issues here is that "technical means" is quite
a vague concept. Having certain areas of feromagnetic material
polarized in certain direction than others is invisible to a human
eye, hence reading anything written to your hard drive constitutes
using technical means to obtain information. Whether it is
circumvention depends on whether the owner of the IP meant for you (or
your operating system, firmware, hardware) to read it. This may sound
theoretical, yet there are a number of people being sued for using
bit-copy images in order to play their legally obtained games without
having to juggle CDs all the time.

What's worse, every now and then some companies proclaim that their
plain-text file format is actually a trade secret and anybody using it
owes them gazzillions of dollars (here is a recent one [3]).

I'd say just keep out of US if you can help it (TSA, FISA and BSA
being part of the reasons).



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