Since 1998, using your own property has required regulatory permission and the ability to make your own jailbreaking tools from scratch

Originally published at:


My 74’ Dodge pickup laughs in their general direction.


Guess the only right we have left is the right to consume.


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So Cory, as a general rule, do you think that people should be able to use their own property without regulatory permission??

“Stupid rules are made to be broken.”

  • Sherman Potter, 4077th M.A.S.H.

This potato is trying to be as loaded as that question


Cory said, “This is absurd.” I think he ought to have said, “This is patently absurd.”


Yup and it’s just the tip of the iceberg of anti-consumer legislation enacted world wide. We need things to protect innovators but enclosing innovation within corporate walls doesn’t seem like a sensible approach.


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Not sure why the generation thing. Lots of Boomers are ordinary people who want to fix their own stuff. Not sure what to search for but there are lots of YouTube videos showing things like boomer farmers (look like boomers to me) trying deal with restrictions on repairing their computerised combines.
This legislative goofiness affects everyone.

I see your potato, and raise you nachos


Hey, Cory put the potato on the platter. All I did was ask if it’s available with the other items on the menu.

Is that a trick question?

I think most reasonable people will say that as long as the use of your property harms no others, then regulatory concerns should not prevent one from doing with their property as they please.

… and then people will start arguing about what “harm” means, and about whether it’s OK to risk harm to others (how much risk?), and about whether people should ever be protected from their own mistakes.

So maybe I would consider it a reasonable position that every regulatory limitation on using one’s own property should have a well-thought out and clearly defined reason, and be proportional. Makes the DMCA look bad enough :slight_smile:

Some people may argue that but do we really want to worry about people who argue definition?

If harm exists then it can be demonstrated. If demonstrable harm exists then you can take your complaint to court and seek damages. By trial we can establish what actions are and are not harmful and by precedent we can establish what uses are not acceptable without attempting to create a list of all possible examples of fair use. Such a system obviates any need for regulatory barriers such as the DMCA and oddly enough is the system this nation has used for over 200 years now.

In other words this is not a regulatory issue. This is an issue where lawmakers have attempted to create regulation where none is needed and it is this misapplication of law which has resulted in the sorry state of affairs in which we now find ourselves.

If the definitions are at the core of the matter, then yes we do.
After all, there is zero harm in owning a huge arsenal of assault weapons, or in building your own backyard nuclear reactor (as long as nothing goes wrong). And if you use third-party ink cartridges for your printer, there is demonstrable harm to the bottom line of the company that wanted to sell you overpriced DRM-encumbered cartridges. So your “reasonable” statement basically means whatever we want it to mean, depending on what “harm” we care about.

No. By a democratic process we establish what laws should be enacted, and the laws define which actions are legal, and which actions cause you to be liable for damages. If the facts or the interpretation of the law are in dispute, the courts decide for the individual case in question. This obviates the need for any ad-hoc case law and makes sure that legislative power is exercised by the people through parliament, and not by judges. Oddly enough, this is the system this nation has used for over 250 years now.

Oh wait, different “we”, different nation. I was too quick to assume that “most reasonable people will say” that things should be done the way they’ve traditionally been done in my country, sorry about that ;-).

But seriously, even Common Law countries like America do have regulations, it’s not all about precedent judicial decisions after the fact. And the DMCA-inspired laws that have sprung up around the world (thanks to some friendly back-room arm twisting by American diplomats) aren’t any better than the DMCA itself, just because some of them are in Civil Law countries doesn’t make them any better.

Some abstract “all regulations are bad” argument won’t help, because they aren’t.

It’s about what cost (in freedom) we’re willing to pay to prevent who from what harm.
And I’m not that happy with giving up my fundamental freedom to tinker with the devices I own in order to prevent slight harm to the bottom line of Hollywood and some printer manufacturers.

Definitions are never the core of the matter. Language is not calculus nor should it be used in that manner. The core of the matter is that people are being made criminals for using things they own in a manner the manufacturer does not like.

This however is not a valid process for us at this time. Our lawmakers have been bought and paid for by special interest and no longer represent the will of the people or the good of the nation. As evidence of this state of affairs, I offer this thread as evidence. Our lawmakers attempted to decide what is and what is not legal and gave us the DMCA. This law harms us all and at this point I see no need to repeat the litany of problems it has and will continue to cause this nation.

Had we not injected “the democratic process” as you call it we could have viewed each case on it’s own merits rather than making an entire class of people criminals for investigating our computing devices for security issues.

Good thing no one attempted to make that argument. But your strawman will surely help warm my hands.

I completely agree but now you seem to argue against the legislative remedy which you had previously supported.

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