OT: Legalese [Re: And another Ubuntu convert!]

Derek Broughton derek at pointerstop.ca
Tue Jan 27 15:47:00 UTC 2009

Bart Silverstrim wrote:

> Derek Broughton wrote:
>> That's pretty disingenuous.  It's _all_ about stealing.  And that comes
>> down to just how much the rights-holders want to permit "buyers" to do.
> If you can dictate what your customers do with your product (outside of
> the obvious...such as you can't use our company's hammer product to wack
> people in the head...but that's the government limiting that use more
> than the company I suppose) wouldn't that mean you're *licensing* the
> product, not selling it? 


> You don't own products like Windows or MS
> Office if you purchase a copy, you license it for use.

Indeed - but Mario and I were specifically using deCSS and DVDs as an 
example.  Software has always been licensed, Entertainment generally hasn't 
(at least explicitly).  See below.  otoh, I have dared MS many times to try 
to sue me in a Canadian court over exactly how I use Windows.  I maintain 
that their license restrictions hold no water in a Canadian court - if I 
bought their software on a particular computer, and am still using it on 
that computer,  its none of their business if it's in a partition or a VM.

> You bought the right to use it under their terms, hence the license. If
> you disagree with it you don't buy it.

I maintain that I don't disagree with their license, just their 
interpretation. :-)

> Of course, I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that if you have a
> friend that gives you his lunch snack in the cafeteria on the condition
> that you sing the Sweet Child of Mine every morning in fourth period
> math and you agree then you can't just take it and walk away because you
> disagree with having to look like an idiot. 

That's fine, but if he gives you his lunch and after you eat it, tells you 
that you have to sing the song, that's not a contract.  That's not even an 
"unenforceable contract" - in the eyes of the law, it is no contract at all.  
This is essentially what DRM'ing movies does.

> Software and movies come
> with licenses you agree to when you use them.

Movies _don't_.  Try to find a single DVD that says anywhere "to be played 
only on licensed DVD players".
> I also think that common sense would allow for things like making copies
> for my own use, which the companies clearly want to limit. I did
> purchase a copy of a DVD so I could have a copy that didn't rely on
> being online or relying on another company to unlock it when I wished to
> view it, and if the media is damaged I do not wish to re-purchase it. I
> want to purchase a license to view the media content, not the media.

Which is what Canadian law has always held. 

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