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Re: DeCSS Court Hearing Report

On Tue, Jan 04, 2000 at 11:20:16AM -0800, Martin Minow wrote:
> Here's my translation of the law Eivind Eklund describes. Note that,
> while I am a fluent speaker of Swedish, Norwegian is a similar, but
> not identical language. This is a really quick translation and should
> not be relied upon for judicial opinion. It's free, and worth what
> you paid for it.

Thanks!  I had a translation done, but did not feel like doing it
again after I lost the copy while mishandling mail.

> S/S 39i It is permitted to create examples of a computer program's
>   code and translate the code's form when this is a requirement for
>   obtaining the information that is necessary to provide functional
>   compatibilty between an independently developed computer program
>   and other progrmms, where

'Copy' is what is meant where it says 'eksemplar' (what you've
translated to 'example').

>   a) The operation is performed by a person who has the right to use an
>      example of a computer program, or for the benefit of a person who
>      has this right. [Sorry, sloppy: I think this means that an employee
>      or consultant can do the work, not only the "person who has the right."]

This match my reading.

>   b) The information that is necessary to achieve functional compatibility
>      has not previously been readily available for those named in section a and,
>   c) The operation is limited to those parts of the original program that
>      are required to achive functional compatibility.
> The information obtained under the first paragraph may not
>   a) Be used for other purposes than to provide functional compatibility
>      with the independently developed computer program.
> b) Be given to others, except from when this is necessary to provide
>      functional compatability with the independently developed
>      computer program, or
>   c) Be used for development, production, or marketing of a computer program
>      that significantly duplicates the form, or in other fashion damanges
>      the copyright of the program.
> These paragraphs cannot be revoked by contract.

One thing that is important in understanding norwegian law is that it
is the *intent* of the law that matters.  The intent of the law is
that proprietary dorks should not be able to block other people from
making compatible software (e.g, DVD players under
FreeBSD/Linux/whatever).  I do not believe anyone is going to be able
to argue around that in (norwegian) court; the politicians that
originally passed the law are available to be asked :-)