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SubjectRe: openbkweb-0.0
On Fri, Feb 14, 2003 at 03:57:24PM -0800, Larry McVoy wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 14, 2003 at 11:45:17PM +0000, Jamie Lokier wrote:
> > > Current German copyright law says that any contractual appointments that
> > > disallow the allowed cases of reverse engineering are void.
> >
> > Exactly. He can say it, it's up to you whether you ignore it.
>
> As with many things in life, you can choose to behave well or poorly and
> the people you help or hurt will act according.
>
> The slashdot kiddies, as an example, seemed to think it was OK to swap all
> the music they wanted for free. The music industry responded by helping
> push through the recent round of draconian laws which are much deplored on
> slashdot and here for that matter.
>
> But nobody seems willing to stand up and say "well, maybe if we hadn't been
> stealing all this music these laws might not have come into existence".
>
> I'll leave you to make the BitKeeper connection, I'm sure you are smart
> enough to do so.

In Germany swapping music for free except for limited copies to friends
(for which you pay with every harddisk or CD or CD burner you buy) has
been illegal for _many_ years. The part of current German copyright law
that says that the highest penalty for copyright infringement are three
years in prison is unchanged since 1974.

Current German copyright law says you are allowed to reverse engineer
under certain circumstances a program you are a licensee of to produce
independent programs that interoperate with this proprietary program.
Otherwise it would often be impossible to develop software like Samba
that has to interoperate with proprietary products - how easy would it
be to forbid something like this in the licence terms of the proprietary
program. Since the licensee is often in a very weak position compared to
the company selling the software current German copyright law says that
any contractual appointments that disallow the allowed cases of reverse
engineering are void.

Both rules make sense to me and whether I like them or not I am smart
enough to see the difference between these two cases.

cu
Adrian

--

"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
"Only a promise," Lao Er said.
Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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