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Netfront Application Hacking Cease and Desist Order

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Leonard_Caplan Page Icon Posted 2007-10-13 12:29 AM
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deusexaethera - 2007-10-12 11:36 PM

Leonard_Caplan:

It was a good example, but it neglected two points:

1) Japanese law doesn't apply outside of Japan, and outside of Japan is where any modifiers would have to be sued, unless Access could somehow convince various foreign governments to extradite the defendants to Japan.

2) In the USA (which has more/less the most restrictive copyright laws in the world), the law specifically prohibits copyright owners from winning lawsuits involving computer programs modified by defendants strictly for the purpose of using them with the defendants' hardware. They haven't a leg to stand on. Access may not be aware of that law, since they are based in Japan, but any lawsuit would not be much of a lawsuit as the law is quite clear on the issue.
I guess the reality is that you entirly missed my point, so I will state it again in fewer words.

Whatever your take is on the interpretation of International law, it is a losing battle if you have to foot the bill to defend yourself if in fact you are sued for copyright infingment and damages, and have to pay for lawyers. You in fact could prrove that you are correct by challanging Access to sue you and successfully defend yourself and win.

Or on the other hand you could dazzle them by representing yourself claiming that you are both a software designer and an expert on International copyright law. It is a "no win" situation, and even in the most bizarre chance that you would win, would find it an empy victory since there is little you would gain. I thought it was Don Quixote who liked to tilt windmills.

Len
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-10-13 3:14 AM
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cmonex - 2007-10-12 8:01 PM

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CE Geek - 2007-10-12 11:30 PM

You've just confirmed my point. That seems to be why they don't want anyone to touch the code at all.


sorry, i do not understand how i confirmed your point.

am i talking to people here who never hacked netfront to run?

you should be fully aware of how you have no idea about assembly and cracking, you don't have the slightest idea on how to start disabling the security of an app, and yet, you can get netfront working on an HPC...

(do not interpret this in the wrong way please. )


I get what you're saying, but my point is that, if I can learn simple code changes to make an app work outside its intended platform, how do they know that I can't learn more complex manipulations of an app's code to get past registration barriers? (How do I know I can't, for that matter?) Sure, it's a much bigger task, but my point is that I don't think we're likely to convince Access execs and lawyers to draw a line between the two and say, "Okay, you can change the code up to this point, but beyond that, you can't."

I'm not disagreeing that it's stupid of them to go after people who are paying for the software anyway and just want to make it work outside its intended platform. What I am saying is that we may be unlikely to get them to recognize the stupidity of their position, unless we have the law to back us up, as deusexaethera claims we have here in the US. And if he is in fact correct, I don't understand how it would cost us anything to confront the company with that information via e-mail. Let their lawyers try to refute that argument.

Edited by CE Geek 2007-10-13 3:15 AM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-10-13 9:59 AM
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CE Geek - 2007-10-13 9:14 AM

I get what you're saying, but my point is that, if I can learn simple code changes to make an app work outside its intended platform, how do they know that I can't learn more complex manipulations of an app's code to get past registration barriers? (How do I know I can't, for that matter?) Sure, it's a much bigger task, but my point is that I don't think we're likely to convince Access execs and lawyers to draw a line between the two and say, "Okay, you can change the code up to this point, but beyond that, you can't."

I'm not disagreeing that it's stupid of them to go after people who are paying for the software anyway and just want to make it work outside its intended platform. What I am saying is that we may be unlikely to get them to recognize the stupidity of their position, unless we have the law to back us up, as deusexaethera claims we have here in the US. And if he is in fact correct, I don't understand how it would cost us anything to confront the company with that information via e-mail. Let their lawyers try to refute that argument.



there is a clear line between changing the import table and changing the real code.

the PE header for a program *fully* specifies which part is the import table and which part is just executable code.

finally, there is one more way to differentiate other than PE structure: the intention.


p.s.: learning how to crack takes a while, of course you may be able to learn it but as said, it takes a while. but the point here is not that anyway...

p.s2: i'm not discussing this any more, was just replying. anyway yes, you can write an email to them. i won't try again as they never replied to me in the past. yet, they bothered writing one to hpcfactor for no sane reason.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-10-14 1:57 PM
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deusexaethera - 2007-10-11 8:57 AM
§ 117. Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs

(a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy. — Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:

(1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner....

Taken from this source: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#117

I think the word "adaptation" that I bolded in the quote is what some of you are using as the argument.

I would question to what extend this adaptation can take. My interpretation is that adaptation should be limited to external conditioning that does not modify the product itself. However that is a point to be argued on its own.

So I would turn to the alternative definition and show why it is flawed. If "adaptation" is defined as any unrestricted means in order to make the software work on a specific computer, then any modification and/or reverse engineering of the software is allowed. Many terms in many software licenses would become moot. And there will be a large impact on the software industry concerning copyright as well.

Would like to address the rest of the replies, but I'm a bit tight on time this weekend (why I stopped visiting this site). But I'd still come back for this thread. Perhaps next weekend.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-10-14 5:01 PM
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Well I should've spent more than a few minutes to address that rather important issue above... so I thought about it some more during lunch and decided to elaborate a bit just to help everyone understand what I was getting at, before I leave for another week.

It is quite obvious, at least to me, that the excerpt of the US copyright law quoted above, was aiming at copying software. The word "adaptation" was refering to copying onto a different storage media, e.g. from CDROM to Harddrive, or floppy disc etc. In which case it would be a mere change of packaging, or the form of storage for the software. Thus I used the term "external conditioning".

If my interpretation there was indeed correct, that the intention of this "adaptation" was merely external conditioning, then using this as an argument for modifying the software would be misinterpretation. In a court, this would simply lead to further explanation of the law, and the argument for modification would be overruled.

But of course I could be wrong. You can make your own interpretation as to what that law was intended for. If you really think that was intended for modifying the software to work on different platforms, I can only say that does not make sense to me.

Imagine if you bought, say, a license for TextMaker for PPC, then you modify it so it works on your HPC as well, how would SoftMaker feel? They would be selling a lot less copies. It would be even worse if you reverse engineer the CE version (decompile) and make it work on Win32. But of course that would be extreme and unrealistic. However I hope that shows the potential problems with interpreting this "adaptation" as porting to any unintended and unsupported platforms by modifying.

Edited by takwu 2007-10-14 5:01 PM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-10-14 6:56 PM
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takwu - 2007-10-14 11:01 PM

It would be even worse if you reverse engineer the CE version (decompile) and make it work on Win32. But of course that would be extreme and unrealistic.


muhahaha, it isnt .net to decompile so easily, and how are you rewriting an entire disassembly to run on another cpu?

(i know you said it would be extreme, but that's an understatement)

this thread is getting funnier every moment!
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deusexaethera Page Icon Posted 2007-10-15 10:50 AM
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takwu:
Lawyers know a lot of words. If they had meant to say "copying a computer program onto an alternate form of installation medium" instead of "adaptation of a computer program", then they would have said that. They used a vague term specifically to allow leeway.

Leonard_Caplan:
I understood your point the first time. The Tour de France lawsuits were expensive because there isn't a law specifically targeting the use of a copyrighted name for the purpose of selling the product represented by that name. In this case, there is a law specifically targeting the issue at hand. The court proceedings would not last very long.

Edited by deusexaethera 2007-10-15 10:54 AM
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Leonard_Caplan Page Icon Posted 2007-10-15 11:35 AM
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deusexaethera - 2007-10-15 10:50 AM

takwu:
Lawyers know a lot of words. If they had meant to say "copying a computer program onto an alternate form of installation medium" instead of "adaptation of a computer program", then they would have said that. They used a vague term specifically to allow leeway.

Leonard_Caplan:
I understood your point the first time. The Tour de France lawsuits were expensive because there isn't a law specifically targeting the use of a copyrighted name for the purpose of selling the product represented by that name. In this case, there is a law specifically targeting the issue at hand. The court proceedings would not last very long.
Obviously you do not really get the point at all.

Let us suppose that you do get served. The first thing that would would have to do is get a lawyer. Unless you want to get someone fresh out of law school, you will spend between $250 to $500 per hour or more. Any lawyer I have ever known, unless they are a relative and will work Pro Bono will want a retainer just to get started with a case, most probably between $5,000 and $10,000. The lawyer has to review the compalint, read of all relevant material including the law and decisions, as well as prepare an answer and file it, as well as spend time speaking with you. This alone will take up a good part of your initial retainer. You can be sure that anyone suing you in such a matter will want to "paper you to death", and at best, if this was to get resolved quickly, will require at lease one appearance in court (and you will be paying for at least three hours for this at your lawers hourly rate). Judges do not just read something and make a decision. Your lawyer would have to research the law, and present an argument just with the hope of having the suit thrown out of court, which most certainly will not happen. If motions and depositions are required, you can figure another 10 -20 hours or more. If the matter has to go to trial, which it wiil, you are talking about 40, 50, 60, or more hours of billable time. Assuming that you really want to spend all of this money to fight with Access, and by some odd chance you do win, what will you have gained after all of this. Since under no circumstances would this ever be ruled to be a frivilous suit, there is no way you could ever be reimbursed for your legal expenses, and since there is no damage to you, you could recover no money.

When you first started posting to this thread it sounded as if you might have some valid points. After following your posts here it has become very obvious that you are very good with words, but have a total disregard for obvious facts and what appears to be common sense. Other than to want to engage in a debate here, with dubious merits, I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish.

Cmonex is right ... "this thread is getting funnier every moment!". I think just about anyone who has anything intellagent to say about this topic has already said it, and IMHO it should be put to bed.

Len

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deusexaethera
deusexaethera Page Icon Posted 2007-10-16 1:00 PM
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I'm sorry Leo, I didn't know that a predicate for being considered "intelligent" was to agree with your point of view. You're trying to make the point that lawsuits are hellishly expensive, and I'm trying to make the point that the law is on the side of the defendant(s). Somehow, you seem to be taking my point as a contradiction of your point, despite the fact that I never once actually addressed the cost of a lawsuit (assuming that Access would even see fit to bring one and that they were not merely rattling sabers). How you came to this conclusion I don't know, but berating me over something I'm not arguing with you about isn't going to do you any favors.

You are right, however, that there's little point in running in circles.
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-10-21 7:15 AM
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Again sorry for being absent so much... And again I have to spend minimum time on replies, so I hope the main ideas don't get missed.

First, it's not running in circles when you have new stuff I can explain on

About the law... The law is not legislated by lawyers. But anyhow, whoever legislated the law I would not believe that they "use vague term to allow leeway".

Anyway (sorry for using words like that so much, I just always try to get back on track when things go a bit off), my point is about the reasoning behind the law, not about "leeway" or the legislation process.

Simply ask these questions: Did the reasoning behind that particular part of the law, at least in spirit, include modification of software in order to make it work on an unsupported computer platform? If so, would you agree with that reasoning in the first place? I.e. should any software license holder have the right to modify the software, for the purpose of using it on another platform?

Edited by takwu 2007-10-21 7:17 AM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-10-21 8:26 PM
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i would agree with it, yes. wouldnt you?!

and yeah laws are sometimes vague
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-10-22 1:25 AM
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True - to bridge the gap between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.

Edited by CE Geek 2007-10-22 1:26 AM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-10-22 1:25 AM
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(really stupid double post)

Edited by CE Geek 2007-10-22 1:26 AM
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Leonard_Caplan Page Icon Posted 2007-10-22 1:37 AM
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CE Geek - 2007-10-22 1:25 AM

True - to bridge the gap between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.
Sorry .... but not true.

This has nothing at all to do with either the spirit or the letter of the law. It has to do only with the interpitation of a contract!

Len
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takwu Page Icon Posted 2007-10-22 5:03 AM
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Unfortunately, a contract can be deemed illegal if it contradicts with the law. That's why I treat it seriously.

Cmonex, no I would not agree that license holders be given the right to modify the software, regardless of purpose. Such a right would be a violation of copyright, quite simply.
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