Subject: Re: [may be junkmail -pobox] Re: Will freeware change the business forever?
From: Scott Goehring <scott@poverty.bloomington.in.us>
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 23:24:47 -0500

"Kragen" == Kragen  <kragen@pobox.com> writes:

Kragen> - The recent WIPO treaty illegalizing breaking copy
Kragen> protection, even if the things you do after breaking the copy
Kragen> protection are legal (under fair use, because the information
Kragen> is public domain, or whatever)

WIPO itself doesn't do this; in fact, in many European countries
reverse engineering is considered a fundamental right, and (if I am
correctly informed) some even write their intellectual property laws
to make the right to reverse-engineer inalienable (that is, a license
provision that forbids it is unenforceable).

What I find truly curious is that the US bill to "enact WIPO" goes far
beyond WIPO on some issues (such as reverse-engineering), but falls
far short on others (such as what are called "neighbouring rights" in
Europe).  I read not long ago an unpublished paper that asserted that
Congress has basically failed to even approach neighbouring rights
issues that are quite central to the WIPO treaty itself.

There are substantial disagreements between Americans and Europeans on
issues of intellectual property, especially regarding alienability of
IP rights and the scope of IP rights which may be held by
corporations.  These issues are far from settled.