Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (171 mails)

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Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] Preinstalled Windows: AARGH! I can't get it off!
  • From: "Frank Shute" <frank@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 03:57:15 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <20020509034809.C6767@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, May 08, 2002 at 08:26:29AM +0100, Ian wrote:
> > Which is why I believe I'm not breaking the law by running one
> > licensed copy of NT on 2 different machines, laptop & workstation,
> > because to my mind it constitutes fair use the same way you can copy
> > an audio CD for personal use.
> I think you might have a point if you demonstrate that you are the only user
> and the machines aren't used at the same time but it would have to be tested
> in court and who knows what they might come up with.

Well they'd come up with all sorts of specious arguments but at the
end of the day the judge has to simply decide whether it constitutes
fair use. It seems pretty fair to me though....although I could be

> Snag with the law is that its expensive so gives advantage to large
> corporates who can afford it.

Certainly in the US courts that principle seems to be the case but
over here the courts seem to take into account the plaintiffs and
defendents resources. I'm thinking in particular of the McDonalds two.

> > I must write to Microsoft and ask them to sue me, might be fun.
> I'd make sure your assets are transferred somewhere accessible just in case.

Do you mean *in*accessible?;) I've got no assets to speak of and those
that I have are tools of my trade which can't be grabbed by bailiffs
or whatever. I wouldn't mind being made bankrupt & then my overdraft
would get cleared....

My understanding though is that in `test' cases it's rare for the
defendent to pick up the tab for the plaintiffs legal costs even if
you lose.

> Mind if you could get a few hundred thousand people to take MS to court
> individually, it would cost them a lot. Wonder if it could qualify for legal
> aid? Good way of getting the issue into the media too.

I think I'll go for it. I'm off on holiday at the end of the month but
I'll start poking them with a sharp stick when I get back.

> > Goes without saying IANAL. I'd like to hear others opinions on the
> > `fair use' argument I've espoused here.
> >
> > Don't schools copy some sections of printed educational material and
> > isn't that also considered fair use?

> Usually its with permission and for small sections. Since small
> sections of MT aren't much use its a difficult parallel to draw.
> (Some might argue large sections of NT aren't much use :-)

LOL. The only sections that are any good that I can ascertain are the
BSD parts.

I think there's another argument to be had about their licensing with
regards the fact that a lot of the network stuff in NT is Berkeley based
(which I'm free to copy and distribute under the terms it was produced
by UCL) and some of their code has been ripped off:

How do I know that the major part of their code hasn't been purloined?
It might contain GPL code as far as I know. If that's the case then
it's little more than a software distribution like RedHat or SuSE. I
know SuSE you can't copy (I think) because it contains some proprietary
code but I don't think they get upset if you use it on more than one
machine. But without a full code audit of NT it's not possible to know
whether the whole lot hasn't been contaminated by the GPL in which
case I'd be free to copy it.

> > Where do you draw the line? Why's
> > software considered so different from other data?
> Probably because it is different! In my view copyright on software should be
> much shorter than for books because of the speed of technological change.
> Books cost money to manufacture, software is distributable over the Net etc.

The whole of the law is basically a mess on this front and nobody
really knows where they stand. What if you publish a program in book
form? I know PGP did this to circumvent restrictions regards export of
cryptographic code to countries outside the US, PGP is a non-trivial
piece of code too.



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To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a
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