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Johnson, Stan L[SMTP:Stan.L.Johnson@state.me.us] wrote:
>which s/he is ethically entitled to payment. Tha argument the folks are
>advancing is more, I think, that, to try to cut to the core, if I
>purchase a piece of software, in hard copy or downloaded, for personal
>use, I should be allowed (under the contract) to make any normal personal
>use of it I choose. Clearly a field ripe for lawyers to clarify, but the
>terms that people are reporting built into licenses are absurd.
Yep, I've often wondered how far the license can go:
"You may NOT use this software on Sunday's between 8AM and 1PM,
unless there was a full moon the night before"
But, how many cases of MS prosecuting a license violator do you know of? I've
never heard of any. PC software is so widely pirated, there's no way to monitor
or enforce any of the terms for most of it except in some very high visibility cases,
or disgruntled employees blowing the whistle on a company that uses a program
for profit but violates license terms. I do think a person should be able to disassemble,
reverse engineer, etc. copyrighted software to see how it works, what it's doing, but
it would be dangerous to lift whole sections of code, incorporate it in one's own
work and then resell it.
It's just there for protection - if the agreement says "Java should not be used for
controlling nuclear power plants, air traffic control or kidney dialysis machines", but
you say to hell with that, I'll do what I want, and then a bug causes a meltdown or
somebody get's killed, the authors can avoid liability for the accident by pointing out
that it says in the agreement not to do that! Don't blame us!
- From: Christopher Pall <email@example.com>