Proposed class – SFC Circumvent Technology Measures for the purpose of investigating

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Read more about SFC "sins" here:

Petitioner: Software Freedom Conservancy

Community Status: MS backed Copyleft Con, CoC associates pushing enforcement, non uploading developer support, Outreachy, FSF lawyers, OSI, GNOME cronyism.

Concerns: Based on past experience with members of this foundation, there is a concern as to the motive of the proposed class.

At first glance this looks to be an effort to reveal offending code but could be a way to exploit developers and stifle the advancement of the arts and sciences by unjustly violating the rights of developers who choose to use copyright.

Looking through a proprietary lens, this is a violation of the judicial process. However, investigating to check if open source has been closed software, violating a free or open license, is important.

However, in real situations, a burden of proof by an accuser is imperative and the accused doesn't have just anyone enter their location/home with baseless theories or accusations.

When court proceedings require opening of code or certain sections of code, then there is documentation to protect all parties.

Reverse engineering is already enjoined in the DMCA.

Section 1201 contains an exception for reverse engineering, as well as security research, encryption research, and the distribution of security tools, all of which may support reverse engineering. However, these exceptions are drafted very narrowly. If your research might implicate section 1201, consult a lawyer to see if you can do your work in a way that is allowed by one of the relevant exceptions or by an exemption periodically granted by the Copyright Office. The following factors are relevant to whether you are entitled to a reverse engineering, research or security exception. However, meeting any or all of these factors will not necessarily protect your work. The list is offered just to give you an idea of the kinds of things that distinguish permissible from impermissible reverse engineering:

  • You lawfully obtained the right to use a computer program;
  • You disclosed the information you obtained in a good faith manner that did not enable or promote copyright infringement or computer fraud;
  • Your sole purpose in circumventing is identifying and analyzing parts of the program needed to achieve interoperability;
  • The reverse engineering will reveal information necessary to achieve interoperability;
  • Any interoperable program you created as a result of the reverse engineering is non-infringing;
  • You have authorization from the owner or operator of the reverse engineered software or the protected computer system to do your research;
  • You are engaged in a legitimate course of study, are employed, or are appropriately trained or experienced, in the field of encryption technology.
  • You provide timely notice of your findings to the copyright owner.

Any further investigative reasons could be documented through a court of law.

The exemption seems self serving and not a benefit to the community or our country.

Of course, that's just my first pass.