[d@DCC] Copyright Review - computer programs
Tom at Abacurial.com
Sat Oct 18 12:45:00 EDT 2003
On copyright for computer programs (software):
1. Some software licenses limit rights that the copyright act extends to the
Licenses should not preclude copyrighted works entering the public domain or
being backed up.
2. Reverse engineering analysis is usually forbidden by licenses on packages.
Patents exist to spread knowledge while retaining rights. Copyright does not
forbid analysis. To advance the art, reverse engineering of software should be
a right protected by the Copyright act.
Materials protected by copyright should always be accessible for reverse
engineering, analysis, and study, whether by academics and students, or by
3. Some packages state that the complete license is inside and if it is not
acceptable when read, the package may be returned for a full refund. However,
most retailers refuse to refund for opened software packages.
A License limiting rights that exist under the copyright act should always be
on the outside of a consumer package.
4. Most software makers refuse to guarantee their software works correctly and
refuse to accept responsibility if it doesn't. This is unacceptable in a
consumer product. Software differs from books: it has a purpose. Manufacturers
should not be able to threaten others with the Copyright act on one hand and
yet be absolved when their product is faulty. When a product advertises certain
capabilities, the seller should be responsible for the capabilities working
Software capability claims should be enforceable without limitation.
--------- (nota bene: case of "tOM" is correct)
tOM A. Trottier, +1 613 860-6633
758 Albert St, Ottawa ON Canada K1R 7V8
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin
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