Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3627 mails)

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Re: [SLE] MS Word, Federal standards, and Linux

Hey-hey... hello - a moment here....

You guys are completely forgetting ( as is to be expected of americans ;)
that US law does NOT - I repeat - NOT tell people in other parts of the world
what to do. Never ! The US is NOT all of the world, and neither is the US
government a world government. - That aside, now for the REAL issue...

The DMCA is valid in the US.

The MPAA has "jurisdiction" in the US.

In Iceland ( for example, as I live there so I happen to know the law a bit )
you can NOT patent:

Formulae

Methods

or any other mathematical work of creative mind.

MP3 ( method/compression formula ), DeCSS, AND .DOC/.XLS etc can all be
reverse-engineered, as long as it's in the best interest of the people, and
not for harmful purposes ( terrorism / sabotage etc ).

Although we happen to have world-scale stupidity in the parliament ( althingi
), I have yet to see it happen that they'll try to impose foreign patent
rules upon us.

So, for the issue: Why don't you guys find a no-mans-land to store your code
and work on it ? oooor... Get some EU guys to do it :-) EU isn't as crowded
with greedy AND stupid lawers as is the US ;-)

( Yes, I love bashing the US... can't help it ;)

-tosi

Þann mánudagur 18 júní 2001 19:55 skrifaðir þú:
> And therein lays the rub. The DMC act protects media formats and precludes
> any legislation related to that mandates uniformatey to Publically
> accessable documents in the government data bases and records. But the
> side step here could be a convertion process in light of public interests
> and rights. Remember that copyrights, more over third party contracts (e.g.
> EULA), can not violate a citizens rights (especially Consitiutional - Good
> Luck with the Supreme Courts). The real problem with any possible solution
> is, given the overall lack of knowledge and foresight that most legislators
> have on this issue, is the perception that this has no bearing to access to
> information in the public (not private) domain. Due to the present level
> of involvement that many of the House and Senate commitees have shown in
> this area, the only way I can see to bring it to the forefront is via a
> corporate level. If a consortium of industry leaders in the market were to
> approach this issue and the then follow this up with efforts by the
> consumer advocacy and other organizations like the ACLU (I know, I know),
> then the pressure would force the legislators to realistically address the
> issue. How this would come about is unknown to myself.
>
> Just MHO. Curtis
>
> On Sunday 17 June 2001 02:26 pm, peter hollings wrote:
> > I agree that the critical issue is "public access to document formats".
> > It doesn't matter that the Word format is technically inelegant,
> > "bloated," etc.; the fact that so many people use it and have saved their
> > documents exclusively in this format creates a widespread dependency.
> > Microsoft's EULA going back to at least Office 97 contains a clause
> > prohibiting "reverse engineering". Suppose this were construed to
> > prohibit anyone from accessing the contents of (or creating) a Word "doc"
> > file by any means other than Microsoft-supplied software?
> >
> > I'll attempt to partially answer this question: I don't think that this
> > threat is very real on a retroactive basis - - there are just too many
> > converters in place and Microsoft would have to go against end users.
> > But should a new "doc" format be developed, Microsoft would then be in a
> > position to sue the developers of any software capable of reading (or
> > creating) files in the new format. Well, what about reverse engineering
> > the new format, GPL-ing it, and making it widely available like DeCSS?
> > Might help, but mainstream corporate and non-technical users would be put
> > off by the need to locate and install a converter of questionable
> > legality. And Microsoft might frustrate such a possibility by employing
> > encryption in the new "doc" format. Also, Microsoft might address the
> > concerns about "access to information" mentioned by Curtis (see below) by
> > distributing a "doc" reader (like Adobe Acrobat).
> >
> > Virtually every purchaser of Microsoft's products has to accept the
> > licensing terms as dictated by Microsoft. Thus, there is little
> > possibility of a revolt against a potential new "doc" format and
> > enforcement of the anti-reverse engineering provisions. I think the best
> > hope is the US government: either through legislatively placing
> > critical formats in the public domain, or, through its role as a very
> > large purchaser of software by dictating that all sellers of software to
> > the Government must place in the public domain the formats in which the
> > Government's information will be stored. One obstacle here is the
> > Digital Millennium Copyright Act which, seemingly, pursues a solution in
> > completely the wrong way by legally protecting formats rather than the
> > (intellectual property) contents stored in those formats.
> >
> > Peter Hollings
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Curtis Rey" <crrey@xxxxxxxx>
> > To: "Paul Abrahams" <abrahams@xxxxxxx>; "SuSE listserve"
> > <suse-linux-e@xxxxxxxx>
> > Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2001 1:04 PM
> > Subject: Re: [SLE] MS Word, Federal standards, and Linux
> >
> > > I think the key here is to bring the question of public access to
> > > document formats into question. I have to agree that Word format is
> > > the de facto standard due to it's ubiquitous nature in the public
> > > domain. Remember
> >
> > that
> >
> > > politicians pass the laws and in this case would only take action if
> > > the public perceive that the government has an ulterior motive for
> > > allowing a proprietary format to become the standard format. In other
> > > words, If by
> >
> > not
> >
> > > utilizing an M$ product a "citizen" is denied access to official local,
> > > state, and federal documents and data bases that fall under the
> > > "freedom
> >
> > of
> >
> > > information act" and "equal access" provisions of the law then It can
> > > be perceived as an illigetimate and illegal use of government revenue
> > > to
> >
> > support
> >
> > > this. If a politician is put in the light of supporting or favoring a
> > > proprietary product that benefits a private sector corporation (e.g.
> > > M$)
> >
> > and
> >
> > > in doing so is denying any citizen access merely due to the product
> > > that he/she has purchased then it can be vicariously interpreted as
> > > negative
> >
> > with
> >
> > > connotations of collusion and or special interest activities. Until
> > > you
> >
> > get
> >
> > > the legislators to address an open "standard" then M$ products will
> > > always have in unfair advantage and will unduly control the market by
> > > developing formats that discludes others. By passing legislation that
> > > mandates that
> >
> > all
> >
> > > governemt documents in digital media must adhere to a format that is
> > > accessible to any product or technology that adheres to said proposed
> > > standard the public is assured of access. It can either come in the
> > > form
> >
> > of
> >
> > > mandating M$ to give access to source for the Word format, or to adopt
> > > a format that is standard on an international basis. Given that M$
> > > Word formats are so ubiquitious in the public and private domain it
> > > would be
> >
> > much
> >
> > > more concievable to mandate the source be opened. The alternative to
> > > an international standard adoption would follow in course due to the
> > > fact the other competing software developers would be able to conform
> > > to the Word format. This would allow any existing documentation to
> > > remain in place
> >
> > with
> >
> > > out have to convert massive amount of data at a substaintial cost to
> > > the
> >
> > tax
> >
> > > payers and unduly using needed government resources and time.
> > >
> > > IMHO. Curtis
> > >
> > > On Saturday 16 June 2001 11:13 am, Paul Abrahams wrote:
> > > > peter hollings wrote:
> > > > > A great idea! Why should our tax dollars go into any proprietary
> > > > > technology? Why not have a requirement that applied at the time of
> > > > > purchase that said that the purchased software must save its
> >
> > information
> >
> > > > > in open formats? Why should our government buy software that
> > > > > stores information (e.g., word processing documents) in a
> > > > > proprietary format that not only is non-public, but under the terms
> > > > > of the purchaser's license cannot be reverse engineered? The
> > > > > public has a strong
> >
> > interest
> >
> > > > > here and it seems that it's not being exercised for some reason,
> >
> > perhaps
> >
> > > > > ignorance.
> > > >
> > > > Well, the Word format is, I suppose, de facto proprietary, but that
> >
> > could
> >
> > > > be changed. I doubt if the format itself is patentable. What I'm
> > > > proposing is to open up a closed format but not discard it.
> > > >
> > > > Paul
> > >
> > > --
> > > To unsubscribe send e-mail to suse-linux-e-unsubscribe@xxxxxxxx
> > > For additional commands send e-mail to suse-linux-e-help@xxxxxxxx
> > > Also check the FAQ at http://www.suse.com/support/faq and the
> > > archives at http://lists.suse.com

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