[kwlug-disc] are you going to be a criminal?

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Fri Jun 4 20:54:10 EDT 2010

On Fri, Jun 04, 2010 at 08:35:38PM -0400, John Van Ostrand wrote:
> Digital locks could make a hostage of your own content. At least without
> a anti-circ law I could legally reverse engineer it and get my data. With
> such a law, does the Open Office .DOC compatibility become illegal?

I don't think so:

	41.1 (1) No person shall

	(a) circumvent a technological protection measure within the
	meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition "technological
	protection measure" in section 41;


	41.12 (1) Paragraph 41.1(1)(a) does not apply to a person who
	owns a computer program or a copy of one, or has a licence to
	use the program or copy, and who circumvents a technological
	protection measure that protects that program or copy for the
	sole purpose of obtaining information that would allow the person
	to make the program and any other computer program interoperable.

To my understanding (I am not a lawyer, mumble, mumble), that seems to
clear a Word user who wanted to port his documents to OpenOffice, even
if Microsoft added DRM to .DOC files.

But I'm not sure if that user could then upload his "fix" to OpenOffice
and share it with others, since the 41.12 (1) exception only seems
to apply to 41.1(1)(a) and not 41.1(1)(b) which says:

	(b) offer services to the public or provide services if

		(i) the services are offered or provided primarily for
		the purposes of circumventing a technological protection

		(ii) the uses or purposes of those services are not
		commercially significant other than when they are
		offered or provided for the purposes of circumventing
		a technological protection measure, or

		(iii) the person markets those services as being for
		the purposes of circumventing a technological protection
		measure or acts in concert with another person in order
		to market those services as being for those purposes; or

I'm glad I'm not a lawyer.

- Chris

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