Poll

What do you think is ok?

You should pay for everything.
18 (7.3%)
Tweaking hardware is ok, downloading or tweaking software is not.
22 (8.9%)
Tweaking hardware and software is ok, if it is mine I can do what I want.
155 (63%)
Everything is ok as long as it saves me money.
31 (12.6%)
Something else.
20 (8.1%)

Total Members Voted: 237

Author Topic: Stealing: The double standard?  (Read 97552 times)

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Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #175 on: March 07, 2013, 10:06:46 pm »
BTW, one can look at the issue of enabling firmware functions from a different angle as well, and pretty much a pure hardware angle.

Once the machine is sold, it becomes the property of the buyer. Full stop. That means every single part in it, every ounce of copper, every bit of paint and solder: it all is the sole property of the buyer now. The owner can do whatever she/he wants to do with it. Hang it on a wall like a picture, use it on the bench, burn it in a bonfire, removing/adding parts, changing parts, etc.

This also includes, of course, the memory chips. They are now the property of the owner, and only the owner. She/he is free to do with the memory chips whatever comes to mind. That includes applying signals to it to make it change it's contents. Erasing it. Reading it. Writing to it.

And naturally this in turn includes the right to write whatever data the user wants to it. If such data happens to enable some features of the firmware then it is only the vendor who is to blame for that, no one else. He was not asked to put or hide stuff in there. At the moment of sale, the buyer wanted the stuff that is written in description and on the box. The buyer did not ask to have some extra, but unused code placed into it.

Does anyone really wants to take away the buyers rights to do whatever she/he likes with the hardware parts just bought? And here again it would be a double standard to say that the legal owner has the right to write to the memory chips he or she now owns, but at the same time making it somehow illegal to write to certain locations on it?

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline mgronber

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #176 on: March 07, 2013, 11:16:51 pm »
I buy the scope. The manufacturer decides to put all that code into it and then hands it over to me. At that point the whole thing becomes my property. And that means i can do with it whatever i like, it is mine. I can hack the device any which way i like, including fiddling with bits and bytes in the memory.

Ok. Let's assume that the scope did not have any add-on modules in the memory when you bought it but they are freely available for download on the manufacturer's website. However, once the modules are installed into scope, they ask for valid license key before you will be able to use them.

Is it still ok to fiddle with the data and tweak it to activate those modules without buying a real license key?
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #177 on: March 07, 2013, 11:55:06 pm »
Ok. Let's assume that the scope did not have any add-on modules in the memory when you bought it but they are freely available for download on the manufacturer's website. However, once the modules are installed into scope, they ask for valid license key before you will be able to use them.

Is it still ok to fiddle with the data and tweak it to activate those modules without buying a real license key?

If they have that stuff freely available on their website, sure! Keep in mind that in some jurisdiction, like Germany (where i live), you actually legally own software instead of only having a license that grants you the right to just use it. That means that in your example the vendor offers me to freely download code. I do that, and thus it becomes my property. Of course standard copyright law applies, so i am not allowed to redistribute the software without the consent of the vendor, and that surely includes any hacked variant of it as well, naturally.

Putting the download behind a readme-and-accept style agreement may or may not work, depending on how it is worded and/or implemented. More often than not such things have little to no legal meaning here. Simply putting a readme file in the download directory does definitely not help, since no one can guarantee that i would ever download or read it. Having such a readme in a zip file that was downloaded does not help at all either, since that would be equal to shrink-wrap licenses which are void here anyways (this is because the content of which can only be read once the stuff is already in my posession).

The only real method would be, for example, that i would go to the vendors web site (or a resellers web page for that matter), select the extension i want, pay for it and then get redirected to a dedicated download link for my purchase (or have it sent by email, snail-mail, etc.). That way i can get hold of it legally only after i have paid for it, since any other method would again violate the usual copyright laws. But to add some more protection the vendor could, for example, request my units serial number prior to the download, then encrypt it with that, and have the unit do the decryption. It is easy to implement that on the server side, so no extra work would be required on the vendors site (except of course the one-time implementation of such a system). That way it would be somewhat safer since the same download can not simply be installed on any other device without a lot of effort, if at all, if the encryption scheme is implemeted properly.

Greetings,

Chris
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 11:57:48 pm by mamalala »
 

Offline mgronber

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #178 on: March 08, 2013, 12:04:51 am »
Ok. Let's assume that the scope did not have any add-on modules in the memory when you bought it but they are freely available for download on the manufacturer's website. However, once the modules are installed into scope, they ask for valid license key before you will be able to use them.

Is it still ok to fiddle with the data and tweak it to activate those modules without buying a real license key?

If they have that stuff freely available on their website, sure! Keep in mind that in some jurisdiction, like Germany (where i live), you actually legally own software instead of only having a license that grants you the right to just use it. That means that in your example the vendor offers me to freely download code. I do that, and thus it becomes my property.

What if you go and download a full-featured 30-day trial version of DipTrace and install it to your PC? You legally own the trial version of the software and so you are free to hack yourself around the limitations?
 

Offline hammy

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #179 on: March 08, 2013, 12:10:56 am »
What if you go and download a full-featured 30-day trial version of DipTrace and install it to your PC?

Bad comparison, that's not the same. I don't own a trial version. I don't paid for it!
 

Offline mgronber

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #180 on: March 08, 2013, 12:24:05 am »
What if you go and download a full-featured 30-day trial version of DipTrace and install it to your PC?

Bad comparison, that's not the same. I don't own a trial version. I don't paid for it!

The add-on modules in my previous example were also free so you did not pay for them either. There is no difference. Both add-ons and DipTrace trial are available for free. The add-on modules could even have a trial period of their own after which they require a licence key to activate them.
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #181 on: March 08, 2013, 12:26:46 am »
What if you go and download a full-featured 30-day trial version of DipTrace and install it to your PC? You legally own the trial version of the software and so you are free to hack yourself around the limitations?

Theoretically, yes. Of course i can not hand out the hacked version. And "theoretically" because companies are lobbying like hell to get something similar to the DMCA implemeted here. We already have laws against stuff like manipulation computers/software, but those are meant for completely different contexts, like somehow hacking an ATM or EC card terminal to get money or similar from it. Or hacking the computerized phone network to get free calls. Of course they also try to get laws in place to make it illegal to break copy protection schemes, at which they partially succeeded but mostly failed. Like, i can not circumvent such a protection scheme to gain monetary profits from it, or to freely redistribute/share the resulting, unprotected media/software/etc. However, i am allowed to circumvent it for my own purposes, for example to be able to playback or read media that i bought, or to get software that i bought to work properly.

It is funny to note the fact that software companies do all that lobbying to get new laws in place to protect their business. Because that act alone is proof positive that they do indeed want double standards. Since existing laws allow you to tamper with the stuff you own, and they damn well know that no one would even try to take those rights away from the people, they want to have special laws introduced just for them. It is actually "them" who want to have a special treatment for software, compared to hardware.

Time limitations are pretty useless anyways. One does not need to hack the program in question to circumvent that. Just de-install and then re-install the software after each period. Maybe delete some left-over config files or other config data, if needed. Another way would be to simply stop the clock for that application. This can easily be done by blocking calls to system functions that return the time. As long as the software thinks it's always the same date, it automatically will never expire either.

Speaking of tricks, there is also a really simple way to bypass the board-size limitation of the free download of Eagle. And it also does not require any hacking or tampering of the program. Want 10 times the size, 1000mm x 800mm that is? Simple: just scale down all the components in your part libraries by a factor of ten. When working in the program, simply always select 1/10th the size of what it should really be (trackwidths, drills, etc.). When done, simply scale up the resulting output by a factor of 10. While that method definitely bypasses the intention of the size limitation, it surely isn't hacking of the software. It's simply drawing really tiny circuits!

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #182 on: March 08, 2013, 12:29:22 am »
Bad comparison, that's not the same. I don't own a trial version. I don't paid for it!

Not really. As i wrote, the vendor offers me to download some software. I accept that offer and download it. After that this particular copy is mine. I can not redistribute it, of course. But still, as with "for pay" software, i am allowed to give someone else the copy i downloaded, assuming i delete it from my storage afterwards. Of course that sounds silly, since at any time i could download it again from the vendors site, but that's the way it is.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline hammy

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #183 on: March 08, 2013, 12:41:30 am »
There is no difference. Both add-ons and DipTrace trial are available for free. The add-on modules could even have a trial period of their own after which they require a licence key to activate them.

Yes, ok. But at some point the discussion is a long winded road to nowhere.
The starting point was: You buy something, then you own it and then you can do with it whatever you want. This includes the hardware and the software inside. If there is something hidden inside you also own this hidden feature. If you can enable what you own, it is ok.
 
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #184 on: March 08, 2013, 12:48:53 am »
Yes, ok. But at some point the discussion is a long winded road to nowhere.
The starting point was: You buy something, then you own it and then you can do with it whatever you want. This includes the hardware and the software inside. If there is something hidden inside you also own this hidden feature. If you can enable what you own, it is ok.

True. That is the nature of such topics, it tends to get lost in minutiae and tangents... Will try to do better ;)

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline mgronber

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #185 on: March 08, 2013, 12:56:51 am »
What if you go and download a full-featured 30-day trial version of DipTrace and install it to your PC? You legally own the trial version of the software and so you are free to hack yourself around the limitations?

Theoretically, yes. Of course i can not hand out the hacked version.

So no need to pay for software in Germany if there is a free trial available that can be hacked.

Could you also use a third party key generator to circumvent the limitations for personal use?

Quote
Time limitations are pretty useless anyways.

That depends. The oscilloscope could have blocks of non-erasable flash memory that is dedicated for the trial add-ons. Each add-on with trial capability would have its own memory block, which will be burned out during trial period. Of course this memory would be in a custom chip that may contain some other important logic so that it cannot be easily changed.
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #186 on: March 08, 2013, 01:22:54 am »
Could you also use a third party key generator to circumvent the limitations for personal use?

...

That depends. The oscilloscope could have blocks of non-erasable flash memory that is dedicated for the trial add-ons.

...

Is there any particular reason for you going off of more and more tangents? I mean, the basic concept shouldn't be that hard to understand: property is property. I am free to do whatever i want to the stuff that i own. It is completely irrelevant if i change some bytes using a hex editor or some other tool.

And regarding the time limited issue: Nice attempt at moving the goal posts. Mind you, it was you who brought that up regarding a time limited version of DipTrace, just that now you want to defend that for something different. But even then, the same applies for a scope as well: Making the thing believe it is always the same date means it will never expire. It could try and save the actual usage time somewhere, but then i can always overwrite that. They can try and use whatever special chips they like, i am still free to hack the stuff. It simply doesn't matter: property is property. All they can do is try to block me from fiddling around through technical means.

But in the end it is just a bunch of chips and a CPU, running some code. Due to the simple fact that it is a universal CPU, that it needs some external, rewriteable memory (unless they want to go the non-updateable, mask-programmed way, which would open up a really nasty can of worms for them in terms of product liability, given the complexity of such machines) there will always be a way to make it do whatever the owner wants. All they can do is trying to increase the time-span one needs to figure it out.

really, there is no point in going off on such tangents and nitpicks. There is nothing clever by a constant stream of "but what if..." in an attempt to find some tiny exception while the overarching principle and circumstances are the same. You see, if pigs could fly it could rain bacon, but i would still be sitting here eating a steak....

Greetings,

Chris
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 01:24:51 am by mamalala »
 

Offline mgronber

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #187 on: March 08, 2013, 01:35:14 am »
The starting point was: You buy something, then you own it and then you can do with it whatever you want. This includes the hardware and the software inside. If there is something hidden inside you also own this hidden feature. If you can enable what you own, it is ok.

Essentially the software inside may have parts that are trial versions, which will require a license key after the trial is over. This is no different to (possibly pre-installed) computer software that gives you a trial period. Is it ok to crack the anti-virus software that was pre-installed into your PC?

In the Rigol hack one had to change bytes in the data memory that is used by the software and so the software was cracked to work in the 100 MHz bandwidth mode. Sure it was a simple crack but that does not change it. In my eyes that is the same as cracking normal computer software.

In my opinion, there had not been any issues if the Rigol's firmware had been replaced with some open-source or free firmware that enables the 100 MHz bandwith. It is your hardware and you are free to do what you want with it. However, the firmware that belongs to software domain (i.e. both code and related data) should be treated like any other software. If it is ok to crack software in the scope then it should be ok to crack software in the computer and vice versa. Otherwise there is a double standard.
 

Offline mgronber

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #188 on: March 08, 2013, 01:58:24 am »
Is there any particular reason for you going off of more and more tangents?

Yes, I was gathering information. I skipped most of your text in my replies because there was nothing that I would have argued with you. I just wanted to know what you think is ok and what is not.

Quote
I mean, the basic concept shouldn't be that hard to understand: property is property. I am free to do whatever i want to the stuff that i own. It is completely irrelevant if i change some bytes using a hex editor or some other tool.

Basic concept is simple but the interpretation varies. I have to admit that I am a bit surprised that cracking software is accepted in Germany. I do understand that you are allowed to circumvent copy protections for the software that you have bought meaning that the cracked version is essentially the same software featurewise but without the copy protection. I did not expect that you are allowed to crack the software to provide more features than you have paid for.

Quote
And regarding the time limited issue: Nice attempt at moving the goal posts.

That was not my intention. Except maybe temporarily... :)

Quote
Mind you, it was you who brought that up regarding a time limited version of DipTrace, [...]

That was a side track that I maybe should have left out.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 02:10:19 am by mgronber »
 

Offline M. András

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #189 on: March 08, 2013, 09:35:18 am »
haha preinstalled things on a pc/laptop, my laptop have a nice self install image on a hidden partition (hidden for windows) which then installs 50gb crap included win 7 ultimate half of the stuffs "free" trial or other useless crap, but unless i find a way to modify that image it will be installed every time. i didnt ask for any of those, and i wont ever use it, its like a phone call for asus service center which i had to make once when the bios of the laptop decided to corrupt the video signal when you enter the bios, they told me send it in to repair yeah.. i asked how can i acces for the coin cell for it? they said i cannot remove it even if they told me how to acces it, its seen from the service door's lower side in a cell holder.... after these i have no problem tampering with these stuffs.


what Free_electron mentioned cad programs in university courses on discounts i would gladly get a copy for that price of solidworks or altium etc, but for the price they normally ask for it i wont buy it for my personal use, i have no income of owning and working with those anyway, and i dont even know our university offers anything like the ones in the usa regarding student licenses for software
 

Offline jerry507

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #190 on: March 08, 2013, 04:53:02 pm »
mamalala essentially doesn't believe licenses mean anything. He doesn't seem to hold any idea of "intellectual property". While hardware and software are in many ways similar, they can't be treated exactly the same because software can be copied effortlessly. The fine line is trying to figure out in what ways they're the same and where they're not.

This is why he'll agree to silly things, like demo versions being available means he can use a keygen or other hack to unlock the full version. That is software piracy, and it's not a position most people on this forum would agree with I believe.
 

Offline PeteInTexas

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #191 on: March 08, 2013, 05:26:14 pm »
mamalala essentially doesn't believe licenses mean anything. He doesn't seem to hold any idea of "intellectual property". While hardware and software are in many ways similar, they can't be treated exactly the same because software can be copied effortlessly. The fine line is trying to figure out in what ways they're the same and where they're not.

This is why he'll agree to silly things, like demo versions being available means he can use a keygen or other hack to unlock the full version. That is software piracy, and it's not a position most people on this forum would agree with I believe.

No, ease of copying is not the issue.  The absurdity of "intellectual property" stems from the inherently flawed notion that non-physical things can be property.  Its not a natural concept with many corner cases and intractable in practice.  Modern economies should abandon the notion altogether instead of wasting valuable resources forcing it into place.
 

HLA-27b

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #192 on: March 08, 2013, 05:46:32 pm »
No, ease of copying is not the issue.  The absurdity of "intellectual property" stems from the inherently flawed notion that non-physical things can be property.  Its not a natural concept with many corner cases and intractable in practice.  Modern economies should abandon the notion altogether instead of wasting valuable resources forcing it into place.


Exactly. You summed up the thread in a sentence.  :-+

Wherever you see "intellectual property" you can safely strike it through and write "information" in its place.

intellectual property
  ->  information

...and information has a habit of getting around.

Whoever came up with the idea of intellectual property in the first place had no morals and no conscience.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 05:56:27 pm by HAL-42b »
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #193 on: March 08, 2013, 09:05:49 pm »
... He only told you how it works with our law here in germany.

Maybe such concepts, EULA from companies does not override our local law, are unacceptable for you. But the reality is maybe a little bit different from the "this is good and this is bad"....

I for one would like to see the USA’s DMCA law overturned.  It is but a “money grab” by the film, music, and the computer industry.  I like the German laws as described by mamalala, they make sense to me.  EULA never made sense to me: I must pay first before I can see what the terms are - like you must pay for this car lease FIRST before you see the lease terms - and the terms could be anything they put in; and by the way, they can change the terms at their discretion.  So every morning before you drive to work, you best check their website on the latest change in terms for your car lease.  Their "out" is, if you don't like it, you can get your money back (after you spend twice that in lawyer fees and 5 years in court).

I wish we (in the USA) would adopt similar laws, but I know there is no chance that would happen given how corrupt our system is.

Case and point

HP, Lexmark, et al. printers are/were fairly popular.  Many use generic refill ink cartridges.  The ink cartridge has hardware/firmware to monitor ink level and do other things – one of which (since around year 2000) is to reject generic cartridges and report a failure when generic cartridge is detected.  Some generic manufacturers find ways around that.  But HP, Lexmark, and others used the DMCA law to stop generic manufacturers because they “hacked” into the ink cartridge’s (or printer’s) hardware/software to find out how.  That to me is not just dumb manufacturers, it is a money grab.

Since then, HP/Lexmark printers got off my list of possible purchases.  I know there were suits and counter suits.  I don’t know the outcome of where and how the law suits settled.   But that the printer manufacturer acted the way they did was enough for me avoid them.
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #194 on: March 08, 2013, 10:01:57 pm »
mamalala essentially doesn't believe licenses mean anything. He doesn't seem to hold any idea of "intellectual property". While hardware and software are in many ways similar, they can't be treated exactly the same because software can be copied effortlessly. The fine line is trying to figure out in what ways they're the same and where they're not.

Hey, you may want to visit the JREF. See, they offer 1 million dollars for anyone who can demonstrate paranormal stuff. And it seems that you think you can read minds.

Otherwise i'm sure that you can show me where i said that licenses mean nothing, right? And of course you can show what i do and do not know or understand about IP, correct?

This is why he'll agree to silly things, like demo versions being available means he can use a keygen or other hack to unlock the full version. That is software piracy, and it's not a position most people on this forum would agree with I believe.

Funny then that the stats of this poll show that the majority are OK with the option "Tweaking hardware and software is ok, if it is mine I can do what I want." Methinks you are somehow incapable of reading what is in front of you.

Also keep in mind that what i spoke of is about stuff you own and for your own purposes only. Keygens are a nice example of that. Per EU law regarding copyright, it is forbidden to distribute those to the public. However, it is not forbidden to have one, or to use one. You will find a similar issue about music, for example. You are not allowed to distibute copyrighted music through filesharing networks without the authors consent. However, you are allowed to download it. Over here we basically pay a "fee" with every storage media, printer, copier, etc., that will go to the likes of GEMA, VG Wort, etc., who in turn hand that out to artists, authors, etc.

Per EU law we are allowed to disassemble and modify software we own to make it work. Why do you think it is that companies try so hard to get additional laws in place regarding copy-protection schemes and the like? Because they damn well know that they would be laughed at if they try to have sensible laws tweaked to only suit their own agenda and screwing customers.

And believe it or not, the vast majority of legal experts, judges and courts holds the opinion that software is owned like tangible/physical things, even though the copyright laws state that intellectual work/property normally is a non-tangible/physical thing. Heck, just a few months ago the BGH, one of Germanies highest courts, made a landmark ruling regarding the sale of used software, in which it implicitely states that software is to be treated like any other physical property. And here comes the fun part: Unless the reseller wants you to agree to the original license, the next buyer isn't even bound to that license anymore.

Again, here in Germany the law simply states that the terms and conditions must be made available to the buyer at the moment of the sale. If someone sells me software, i am entering in a contract with that seller but not the manufacturer of the software. If i am to be bound to whatever license or agreement the software vendor wants to have in place, it is up to the seller to make that available to me before or right at the moment of sale. Everything else simply is meaningless, as far as the law is concerned. Every shrinkwrap license i can only read after opening the package is null and void, every click-ok-to-continue thing that i see only during install is the same: null and void.

This is not just simply my opinion, it is the law here. Oh, and there is a reason why i said that basically the same rules apply for stuff that i can download from a vendors website. See, we have, among others, two bits of law in the BGB that deal with transfer of ownership. One concerns sales. It states that a sale is one party showing the intent and guaranteeing another party to want to transfer ownership of something. If you buy stuff, this is then followed by what the second law deals with, the actual transfer of ownership. In case of a free download somewhere, naturally only the second one is in play, since no money changed hands. This is why it makes no difference wether one pays to get something, or can freely download it. As long as the transfer is legal, it becomes the property of the buyer/downloader. And sure enough those laws makes no differntiation between physical goods or stuff like software.

Software is handled through copyright law in general, but also has special provisions/laws to allow to deal with it in a different way. For example, per normal copyright law you are not allowed to change the copyrighted matter. But for software there are exemptions to that rule in place.

It is also important to note that many things are forbidden _only_ if you later want to redistribute the result. As with the keygen, for example. The law only states that you are not allowed to distribute them. It says nothing about owning or using them, which makes it legal, and several court rulings agree with that. Also, things are a bit different in commercial settings vs. private settings. Stuff that is OK to do for you as a private person may not be OK for a company.

Really, before you try to convince us that you know it all and that you can read minds, you may want to first get a bit of a clue about the situation here in Germany.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #195 on: March 08, 2013, 10:40:43 pm »
BTW, just to give an idea, here is the directive 2009/24/EC regarding the legal protection of computer programs:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:111:0016:0022:DE:PDF

Note that while these directives are more or less binding, local laws also apply. So what is written in there is not always exactly how things are dealt with in a particular country inside the EU.

Now note some interrestings things in this directive. For example article 4, restricted act, over which only the rightholder can decide. There is this tidbit:

Quote
2. The first sale in the Community of a copy of a program by the rightholder or with his consent shall exhaust the distribution right within the Community of that copy, with the exception of the right to control further rental of the program or a copy thereof.

Right after section 4, section 5 then limits the provisions listed therein:

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1. In the absence of specific contractual provisions, the acts referred to in points (a) and (b) of Article 4(1) shall not require authorisation by the rightholder where they are necessary for the use of the computer program by the lawful acquirer in accordance with its intended purpose, including for error correction.

Quote
3. The person having a right to use a copy of a computer program shall be entitled, without the authorisation of the right holder, to observe, study or test the functioning of the program in order to determine the ideas and principles which underlie any element of the program if he does so while performing any of the acts of loading, displaying, running, transmitting or storing the program which he is entitled to do
.

Aritcle 6 then gets really beefy, it's about decompilation.

As you can see the rightholder does indeed have pretty exclusive rights. But you would be wrong to stop reading the stuff that follows the sections that grant those rights. Because the following stuff makes it pretty clear that there are quite a lot of exceptions that are granted to the owner (i.e. me) of the software.

Regarding protection, note what article 7 says. There you will find, among others things, what i have said in relation to the keygen example:

Quote
(c) any act of putting into circulation, or the possession for commercial purposes of, any means the sole intended purpose of which is to facilitate the unauthorised removal or circumvention of any technical device which may have been applied to protect a computer program

Note that it only talks about "putting into circulation" and/or "commercial purposes". It says absolutely nothing about owning and using those things. Also note that more often than not, "commercial purposes" usually refer to selling the stuff, and not so much about using it to enable some feature that in turn you use in your otherwise unrelated work, like some feature of a scope to evaluate the circuits you sell. Of course this is not a general, set-in-stone thing. While most lawyers that i had to do with share that view, there are also some who see it differently. In any case, the last word is always with the courts and judges, and even then you can have two courts or judges handing out different verdicts/interpretations about the same issue.

And note that this is just one directive. There are many more, either EU wide or country specific, that deal with all things related to software. And none of them really disagrees with me.

But as you can see, it's not that simple. Blindly putting some EULA somewhere and expecting that is has any meaning is whishful thinking. Contrary to what software companies want us to believe, real law and the stuff they can do/enforce is rather limited if you care to look close enough.

This of course brings up another, rather interresting issue: it's pretty clear that those companies knowingly deceive the customers, heck, even act fraudulently in many cases. After all they damn well know what they can and can not put into their agreements, contracts, etc. They are damn well aware that shrinkwrap licenses have no meaning in many jurisdictions. And they are sure as hell aware of the fact that they have to stay within the laws of the countries they sell the stuff, meaning that they simply can not put rules in their agreements or licenses that go against those laws.

But still they continue to do that as if nothing ever happened, and heck, they even defend the nonsense they do, fully knowing that they are in the wrong. Whose morals are then the worse ones? Who then is playing unfair?

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #196 on: March 08, 2013, 11:06:57 pm »
Just a short follow up to show how "they" want to game the system and introduce laws only to their own benefit, because they are fully aware that they do not have as many rights as they want us to believe.

As i have mentioned, it is perfectly legal here in Germany to copy music or a movie for your friends and family, you have the right to a private copy. They know that, and they are aware that there is no way to have that changed. So what did they do? They lobbyied to get a special law, only for them, put in place: that people are not allowed to circumvent protection schemes.

So what do they tell us now? That you would break the law if you made such a copy and give it to a friend or family member, because you need to circumvent the protection scheme. However, this is not really the full truth. Instead our law says that you can not circumvent an _effective_ copy protection scheme. But what is effective? Most, if not all, protection schemes require some specific code. What if that code is in the form a driver for Windows, but i am on Linux? Right, ther scheme is not effective anymore. Or what about CSS used on DVD's? Is it really effective? After all, i also have to be able to play the media, so it has to be decrypted somewhere. Now combine that with my right to make a copy for either myself, a friend or a family member.

"Effective" also means that it must have a certain level of "hardness". Plus, that law is under quite some criticizm over here, and that includes lawyers and judges. That means that it is far from written in stone and as powerful as they want us to believe. Oh, and of course we run, again, into the problem that i am legally allowed to circumvent any protection scheme if it interferes with me using the stuff i bought. That means that if the DRM of some eBook, CD, DVD, BD, etc. acts up, or does not work on my system, i can simply circumvent it. At which point i have factually a unprotected version of it that is completely legal. And in the case of the music example, that again means i can copy it and hand it over to a friend.

But simply the fact that they want to have special laws in place only for their stuff should make it pretty clear to everyone what they are up to.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline TerminalJack505

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #197 on: March 08, 2013, 11:53:26 pm »
Speaking of DRM...  The software industry doesn't help matters any when things like this happen. 

EA just released the latest version of SimCity and the game requires players to be online at all times to play--even if just playing a single-player game.  (Many suspect that this requirement is a DRM mechanism.) 

The problem is, EA FUBARed the server-side of things and no one can get logged-in to play.  To make matters worse EA is refusing to issue refunds.  I saw in one article where a person seeking a refund was threatened with a ban (from the EA network) by support personnel.  This basically would have prevented that person from playing other EA games that they had previously purchased.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support software piracy (I'm a software developer) but crap like this doesn't help AT ALL with the industry's public relations.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #198 on: March 09, 2013, 12:37:17 am »
The whole problem is that as a legal user of software you have to jump through hoops (registration, dongles, etc) to get software going. What I do is simple: I buy the software but used the easy installable cracked version I download from internet.

When people try to sell me software my first question is: is there a cracked version available. If the answer is no, my next question is: can I install it on any PC I like without having to re-register, transfer licenses, etc. If the answer is also no, then the conversation is over. If something happens with my PC I want minimum down time. If I pay for software I want, no I NEED it to be available to me at all times.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #199 on: January 26, 2014, 01:00:39 am »
well, for me hacking my own hardware is my right. Say I bought a car... If I re-painted it, or bought new fancy rims or tires, or even install new electronics in it... Is that illegal??? NO!

about software, If the hardware itself is mine and it has software, so I have the right to modify it. I have the knowledge to to so, so I will. As simple as that... I even believe I can tell others to do so, but that won't apply always.

If they paid for it, they can upgrade it all they want. But if they didn't pay, then it would be forbidden to do so.

I am telling you that a lot of countries don't care about copyrights of software (like my country), so here it should be taken in consideration.

another thing to think of: how about someone who wants to learn a certain software that is "over 9000$" worth??? he wants to learn the damn thing! he don't want to benefit from it.. After he learns it, he will buy it AND benefit from it. << that should be taken in consideration, especially for software like Altium or MATLAB.


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