Subject: Re: [may be junkmail -pobox] Re: Will freeware change the business forever?
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 1998 21:20:55 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 27 Jun 1998, John Gilmore wrote:
> > - The recent WIPO treaty illegalizing breaking copy protection, even if
> >   the things you do after breaking the copy protection are legal (under
> >   fair use, because the information is public domain, or whatever)
> 
> This characterization is incorrect.
> 
> The WIPO treaty only requires that countries make it a crime to break
> a copy protection system *that is used to violate copyrights*.  If you
> break the copy protection and you don't violate any copyrights (e.g.
> you engage in fair use, or get access to your own material, or to
> material that you have rights to) then there's no issue.

Perhaps this is really what the treaty means.  It's not clear, from
what the treaty *says*, that this is what it means.  What we're
supposed to make illegal is "the circumvention of effective
technological measures that are used by authors in connection with the
exercise of their rights under this treaty or the Berne Convention and
that restrict acts, in respect of their works, which are not authorized
by the authors concerned or permitted by law."  (Source:
<URL:http://www.wipo.org/eng/diplconf/distrib/94dc.htm>)

Presumably, that last clause is to be parsed as "not (authorized by the
authors concerned or permitted by law)" -- that is, being permitted by
law is sufficient for the acts to not need to be illegal.  Given the
confusion of human language (or perhaps of humans parsing language?),
it could easily be interpreted to mean (not authorized by the authors
concerned) or (not permitted by law).

Kragen