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SubjectRe: Binary Drivers
On 12/25/06, David Schwartz <> wrote:

> If I bought the car from the manufacturer, it also must include any rights
> the manufacturer might have to the car's use. That includes using the car to
> violate emission control measures. If I didn't buy the right to use the car
> that way (insofar as that right was owned by the car manufacturer), I didn't
> buy the whole care -- just *some* of the rights to use it.

I have no idea why you assume that "having the right to do X" implies
"must be told how to do X". The have the right (except as laws
prohibit it) to modify the car's systems, but (except for some
specific legal requirements) the manufacturer is not required to
explain anything, even basic operation.

> If I buy a device that has a safety of some kind, the manufacturer cannot
> prohibit me from removing or disabling the safety unless some law gives them
> that authority. ...

Yes, I agree. However, they are completely allowed to make it
arbitrarily hard for you to remove (by, for instance, welding the
safety in place).

> > Almost everything around you is controlled by a uP nowadays (it is much
> > cheaper/preciser to control e.g. the washing machine that way than via the
> > customary rotating wheels with notches). Did you get the specs for that?
> > Can you get them?
> So long as you don't *need* them to use the device, there's no issue. The
> problem is when you need them to use the device (and not just the ordinary
> expected way, any reasonable way). Then you are entitled to them.

Again, (IANAL), I think this is simply a misconception. Buyng a
physical object gives you the right to do anything with it that the
law allows, but imposes no obligation on the seller to explain it
(other than specific restrictions hte law may apply to specific
classes of objects for safety or other reasons). It's up to you, in
deciding whether to buy it, to decide whether it comes with sufficient
documentation to satisfy your needs.

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