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Re: Utterly imbecile pinky communist Ninth Circuit 'judges' (Vernor scan

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Utterly imbecile pinky communist Ninth Circuit 'judges' (Vernor scandalous ruling)
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 16:02:01 -0000

Nice article:

"Stop! You don't really own that software you are trying to sell

Court rules software companies can prohibit the resale of 'used'

Posted: September 24, 2010 - 12:14am Advertisement


On Sept. 10, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that software
companies can prohibit the resale of “used” software.

Most people think of software the same way they think about CDs, DVDs
and videotapes. You go to the store and buy a box full of physical
media. You use the disks for a few years, and when you’re done with
them, you can sell them at a garage sale. You’re not making copies of
the software. You’re just selling something you don’t need anymore; the
same way you’d sell furniture or old clothes.

The ruling comes from an extreme case, Vernor v. Autodesk, in which
Timothy Vernor made his living selling old versions of AutoCAD on eBay.
He wasn’t making illegal copies; he was simply selling old versions that
were no longer in use.

But AutoCAD is a special case. AutoCAD is some of the most expensive
software on the market, used for advanced engineering and drafting
applications. The new version of Autocad 2011 has a suggested retail
price of $3,995.

It’s a high-end product sold to engineering professionals, so the End
User License Agreement specifies that copies of AutoCAD are never truly
“sold.” They are merely licensed, and thus cannot be rented, sold, or
leased to anyone else. Customers are expected to destroy old copies when
they upgrade.

So Vernor’s resale was explicitly prohibited by Autodesk, and now that
EULA has been upheld.

This ruling doesn’t require companies to lock down their software, but
they have the option and we can expect them to use it. And once the
precedent is set with software, we can expect similar rulings with
regard to movies, music and other forms of digital media.

In other words, you may have purchased a DVD of “Toy Story 2,” but you
may not have the right to sell it later on. We’re not at that point yet,
but these rules have a way of growing once a precedent has been set.

Think of this as a new twist on an old issue. We dealt with it in the
1970s, when eight-track and cassette tapes made it easy for ordinary
people to share and distribute music. The earliest mix tapes were
bootleg compilations of popular music, recorded on eight-track tape and
sold at flea markets or truck stops.

Most people made a distinction between private tapes and tapes made for
resale, even if the law itself did not. Technically, all copying was
illegal, whether you sold your mix for a profit or not. Now the digital
age has made copying dramatically more efficient. Cheap media and
ubiquitous Internet access has ushered in a golden age of piracy.

Most users would agree that the sale of illegally copied media should be
a crime. But when we go to the store and buy something, we tend to think
of it as “ours.” When you buy a physical object, you’re implicitly
buying the right to resell that object, and you don’t really care if
that object is a movie, a CD or a pair of shoes.

Autodesk may have a sound legal position here, but companies are going
to have a hard time explaining this concept to customers, particularly
if this practice spreads to movies and music.

People are still struggling with the concept of ephemeral media
ownership, even as the practice is spreading. When you pay $1.29 for a
song on iTunes, what are you actually buying? Do you really “own” that
collection of 1s and 0s sitting on your hard drive?

You’re not licensing rights to the song itself, since it only plays on
certain devices and you’re only allowed to download it once. Similarly
there’s no real difference between buying a digital copy of a game and
buying a copy on DVD. The play experience (and the price) is usually the

So now, just when we’ve learned to accept the concept of ephemeral
ownership, our ownership of physical objects is being taken away. The
disks are just a delivery mechanism for an ephemeral thing — and rights
to that thing can be restricted, altered or voided at any time.

My digital copy of “Starcraft II” cost the same as the physical game. I
can download the “software” as many times as I want, but I’ve only
licensed one copy of the game, and I’m expected to make a live Internet
connection to the company every time I play.

I could buy the game on DVD and sell the software on it, but the content
is worthless until someone pays a license fee to Blizzard. I can’t even
sell my account without violating their terms of use. So what did I buy
for $60? Who really owns the game on my hard drive — a game that
Blizzard can change or disable at any time?

Companies may have the right to restrict resale of their software now,
but I suspect most of them will be reasonable about it. Customers still
have some power over what these companies do. Just don’t expect to
resell your game at a garage sale when you’re done with it, and be
careful what you buy on eBay. The box may be brand new and
shrink-wrapped, but you don’t necessarily have the rights to what’s

THE PAGE STOPS but the blog goes on. Talk back to Michael at"


(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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