>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Original Message <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
On 31.01.00, 19:06:45, kevin lyda <kevin at suberic.net> wrote regarding
[ILUG] dvd/cca and free software...:
> i just read this, and note that abc news and slashdot are also
> the story
> considering the points he makes, in particular regarding the neccesity
> of reverse engineering and free software, it seems rather important to
> the linux community. considering also that it relates to corporate
> rights vs. individual rights, the usa's ability to inflict it's laws
> other parts of the world, and general ideas regarding freedom, one
> wonders where the irish media's coverage on this story is. in
> particular considering that norway is a tad closer to ireland then it
> to those three media outlets...
> i know some news people read this group, any ideas from them?
Personally I am following this story with great interest. The Irish
Times did cover this, but only in a direct dump of the reuters
newsfeed directly into an empty slot in their publishing software.
That story is at
Some searching on EU legislation on Reverse Engineering gives us the
European Commission's legal recommendation which should be law here
now. This can be found at
http://www.echo.lu/legal/en/ipr/software/software.html In particular
reverse engineering is considered ok for certain reasons. i.e. You
dont need the original manufacturers permission to hack the crap out
of it, reverse engineer it to within an inch of its life if it is for
the purpose of gathering "information necessary to achieve
interoperability [which] has not previously been readily available"
It is of great importance that this be allowed, not least because its
what I do for a job. Without this ability there cannot be any
practical interoperability between the microsoft file formats or any
other proprietary information exchange format or protocol and anything
else. If this case sets a precedent then there would appear no
particular reason that I and the other 9 or 10 of us here cannot be
hauled off to court for reverse engineering the encryption format for
office, the compression format for visual basic for applications, the
glossary/autotext format for word and so on.
I don't think that it is in the consumers best interests to have their
data locked into a particular manufacturers data format. And the EU
has always claimed to be big on their consumers rights and what is
best for them. So we will wait and see. I really suspect that the
Norwegian case will flop most horribly flat, the slashdot story linked
to a translation of their parlimentary debate on the issue, and the
minister in charge of whatever area it fell under, continually made
reference to seeing what the EU position would be on this topic. And I
have great faith that unless there is an unexpected wrinkle that you
can do whatever you like with your own DVD.
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