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Re: EFF's take on DVD situation

Dear Folks,

    From the description provided by  "Andrew C. Greenberg"
<[email protected]>, the theft of a trade secret supposes that the victim
was actually a trustee of that secret. Obviously, the Chicago locksmiths
did not come up to that status. Conversely, when the plaintiffs sold
their 'trade secret' contained in a product to anyone that person also
does not come up to that standard of trustee of a secret. Buying the
'trade secret' surely is a proper means of acquisition, as opposed to an
improper means mentioned in the definitions purported from the Uniform
Trade Secrets Act.

    In any event, I take on absolutely no obligation to the owner of a
trade secret by simply buying his trade secret as it is contained in his
product sold to me in lawful commerce. As many of the folks commenting
on this DVD fiasco have noted, using the supplied install script is not
the only way one may access the product one has legally purchased. Any
number of excellent disassembly utilities are available in the open
software community. QED. None of them require one to agree to anything
some manufacturer may want to impose as a condition after the sale.

    Imposing the condition to prevent the sale without compliance with
the condition, BEFORE THE SALE, is the only sure way to force
compliance. Anything else is whistling in the dark. Which is what these
DVD/CSS ding bats appear to be doing. Constant assertion of a fallacy
does not change the fallacy into a verity. Demanding that agreeing to
the post sale conditions as the only way to acquire information about
the object code is just such a fallacy.

    Of course, there will always be folks who are disgusted with the
extra ordinary and will demand the imaginative be restricted. The folks
who created and agreed to the constitution made there best efforts to
protect us from those who would squelch imagination and initiative, as
well as protecting the speech we so desperately need to exercise if we
are to remain free humans. Both copyright and patent laws were passed to
encourage innovation and open investigation of both ideas and the world
we live in. Using them to squash initiative and investigation is a
misuse of the law.


    John B. Brown.
    [[email protected]]