Sharing copies of TrueImage: EULA vs. law and a good reason for self-mounting images

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by 666, Feb 20, 2006.

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  1. 666

    666 Registered Member

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    From the Acronis TI EULA:


    From the Dutch Copyright Act:


    Suppose I use Acronis I to make an image of a data partition that holds my PhD thesis. I hold the copyrights on anything I write so I'm free to give copies of that image file to anyone I want.

    Now the interesting part. Article 15c of the Dutch Copyright Act gives me the legal right to add copies of Acronis TI to the image files holding my data and alows me to distribute those copies as "part of a data carrier containing data (...) to make the said data accessible."

    The same applies to compression software like WinZIP, encryption tools, and even a word processor or spreadsheet app if the data is in an proprietary format that cannot be accessed by other programs. If M$ wouldn't provide a free Powerpoint viewer I would have the legal right to hand out copies of M$ Office together with my powerpoint slides. If the software is necessary to read the data, I can add that software to the carrier that holds the data.

    (Note that Acronis would be entitled to an "equitable remuneration." However, the second paragraph of Article 16c shifts that responsibility entirely to the vendors of blank CDs and DVDs. Acronis should contact the 'Stichting Thuiskopie' in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands if they want to get a cut of the levies charged on blank media.)

    Obviously, the law overrules the EULA. All CDs, DVDs, USB drives and other storage physically located in The Netherlands are covered by the Dutch Copyright Act, even if the manufacturer of the software is located elsewhere: jurisdiction can not be shifted abroad by a EULA. I'm sure there are a lot of other countries with similar laws.

    Would it be a good idea to update sections 2 and 3 of the EULA to make it compatible with the laws of the countries in which the program is sold? Alternatively, Acronis could add an option to create self-mounting image files so redistribution of Acronis TI is no longer necessary to make data in image files available to others.
     
  2. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Re: Sharing copies of TrueImage: EULA vs. law and a good reason for self-mounting ima

    Hm it does say
    (bolding mine)

    I think it's fairly obvious that Acronis TI was not created as a data carrier and the program's focus is actually data recovery. The "serves exclusively" terminology would seem to cut ATI right out here - should one distribute ATI in such a manner, those copies would/could do a lot more than "serve exclusively" to make the data accessible.
     
  3. Mem

    Mem Registered Member

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    Re: Sharing copies of TrueImage: EULA vs. law and a good reason for self-mounting ima

    I read it slightly differently - the regulation is based on what is deemed to be copyright infringment. This has nothing to do with the licensing of a product, which is what the EULA is about. You use it, you have to pay for it (and you could pay for others to use it to if you distribute it) and you agree to those terms in using the product. There is a difference between infringing a copyright and breaking a licensing agreement.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a legal expert.
     
  4. 666

    666 Registered Member

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    Re: Sharing copies of TrueImage: EULA vs. law and a good reason for self-mounting ima

    Any disk with an image file, created by ATI or burned with a program like Nero, carries data and is therefore a data carrier. When you add ATI, it becomes part of the data carrier. Article 15c does not grant Acronis the exclusive right to include its program in a data carrier.

    I doubt that it really makes a difference, because you're free to use a product for other purposes than those for which it was originally intended, as long as those other purposes are not prohibited by law. It's illegal to use a pointy knive to stab people but you're free to use it as a screwdriver or a toothpick.

    What matters is how those copies are actually used. What those copies could do in addition to their legitimate use is irrelevant. The possibility that the recipient uses the copy beyond the scope of Article 15 is no reason to ban copying altogether.

    The american INDUCE Act may take care of this, but only in the USA. We don't have a similar law in The Netherlands.

    That's right. Time to dig up Article 45j:

    "Reproduction (...) in connection with loading, displaying or correcting errors cannot be prohibited by contract."



    The best way for Acronis to deal with this issue is to make an app which can read (but not write) Acronis TI image files, similar to Adobe Reader, self-extracting zip archives, or the Excel/Word/Powerpoint viewers from M$. Such an app would be extremely useful, and not only for legal reasons. I'm sure the vast majority of ATI users would welcome an easy-to-use tool to write image files to bootable disks and USB sticks that contain the image and the software to use the image in a convenient all-in-one package.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2006
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