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Re: DVD legal maneuvers



At 09:20 AM 1/4/00 -0000, lcs Mixmaster Remailer wrote:
>The dirty names are because you promised when you received the software
>to honor certain conditions.  Now you are bringing in a third party
>which has no part in this transaction, some group of men that uses guns
>to collect taxes and calls itself a government, and claiming that the
>words of those men mean that you no longer have to honor your promises.

Anon's point is valid IFF the Reverse Engineer consented
to the contract --either a shrink wrap or an NDA, and
(morally speaking) regardless of the social ("legal") prohibitions on
contracts du jour.  But what makes you think the Engineer violated a contract?

Suppose I buy a music record which says on the package
it can't be played on the radio, or lent from a library,
or lent to anyone else, or performed by any musicians who
can reverse engineer it.  Fine, I'm obligated by my agreements 
(as a moral libertarian) regardless of what the ambient social whores (ie,
the law) says otherwise this week.  [A lot of so-called libertarians break
down here, much as they do when they ponder "No Irish Need Apply" signs,
and decide
that government really should control mutually consensual transactions
after all.]

But what if some passerby hears this licensed content leaking
from my room?  Is she constrained by the same obligations?
No, she has not consented.  If she is capable, she can listen, transcribe,
and repeat the tune, despite the original licensee's agreement (which she
is unaware of).  Moral because exposure to bits does *not* imply agreement
to the licensing terms of those bits.  (Anon, please explain why you
disagree, or why you think the R Engineer violated a contract.)  

Of course, maybe the licensor has broken his agreement which stipulates due
diligence to prevent non-licensees from exposure, 
("you must listen with headphones") but if a third party finds a trade
secret on the ground its no longer a trade secret.

......

Of course, anonymity makes this moot, but Mr. Mix questions us
on a moral level which is never voided by practical workarounds,
and which demands explanation.

Cheers,
DH