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Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by Thomas Avery, Jul 13, 2008.

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  1. Thomas Avery

    Thomas Avery Guest

    I was asked by a friend who has a small electrical firm to check a DVD for
    him. It contained the entire 2008 NEC and was not copy protected. It was
    completely accurate as to content. He purchased it for $20 from a kid who
    attends high school. I did quite a bit of snooping and found that 3 kids
    from the high school are pretty good at stripping copy protection from
    software. They actually check out software from the library, strip
    protection, and make copies. One has a game collection that would be envied
    by Bill Gates.
    I have always heard that if there is someone smart enough to add copy
    protection, then there is also someone smart enough to circumvent it.
     
  2. Guest

    | I was asked by a friend who has a small electrical firm to check a DVD for
    | him. It contained the entire 2008 NEC and was not copy protected. It was
    | completely accurate as to content. He purchased it for $20 from a kid who
    | attends high school. I did quite a bit of snooping and found that 3 kids
    | from the high school are pretty good at stripping copy protection from
    | software. They actually check out software from the library, strip
    | protection, and make copies. One has a game collection that would be envied
    | by Bill Gates.
    | I have always heard that if there is someone smart enough to add copy
    | protection, then there is also someone smart enough to circumvent it.

    It's a lot easier to copy protect stuff over at the CIA and NSA headquarters
    (and you can assume those guys know exactly what they are doing) that you are
    never, ever, going to be allowed to see, or even know exists, than it is to
    copy protect stuff that you are supposed to be able to see. If you can see
    it, you can copy it. Any middle-ages era monk knows that. It's just a matter
    of how nuch they want to trade ease of intended viewing to achieve difficulty
    in unintended copying.
     
  3. Thomas Avery

    Thomas Avery Guest

    Wasn't there a ruling by the 5th District Federal Court that said that if a
    city, county, etc incorporated the NEC by reference into their ordinances
    that there could be no charge for access to the ordinances?
     
  4. Guest

    |
    | |> After serious thinking Gerald Newton wrote :
    |>>> I was asked by a friend who has a small electrical firm to check a DVD
    |>>> for
    |>>> him. It contained the entire 2008 NEC and was not copy protected. It was
    |>>> completely accurate as to content. He purchased it for $20 from a kid
    |>>> who
    |>>> attends high school. I did quite a bit of snooping and found that 3 kids
    |>>> from the high school are pretty good at stripping copy protection from
    |>>> software. They actually check out software from the library, strip
    |>>> protection, and make copies. One has a game collection that would be
    |>>> envied
    |>>> by Bill Gates.
    |>>> I have always heard that if there is someone smart enough to add copy
    |>>> protection, then there is also someone smart enough to circumvent it.
    |>>
    |>> The 2005 NEC was on CD was a protected PDF file and could easily be
    |>> hacked using a $19 PDF ripper made in Russia as I recall. The 2008
    |>> NEC on CD is not so easily done since it is in a different format.
    |>> The NFPA is constantly trying to catch these people.
    |>
    |> I can disable any secuity feature in a PDF document.
    |> You would be suprised how clever you can become when you forget your own
    |> password to password protected documents.
    |>
    |> experience talking.
    |>
    |>
    | Wasn't there a ruling by the 5th District Federal Court that said that if a
    | city, county, etc incorporated the NEC by reference into their ordinances
    | that there could be no charge for access to the ordinances?

    I don't know if this was done. I do know it has been tried and failed in
    some places.

    The whole idea here is that there is substantial cost in developing this kind
    of technical regulation. This is beyond the capability of most juridictions
    to do it on their own at anywhere near the level of thoroughness the NFPA does
    it now. There's also value in a national scope of consistency. If such a
    ruling (especially if expanded to all districts or upheld by SCOTUS) were in
    effect, it would mean that NFPA's source of funding to do the research would
    be in jeopardy. The only alternative would be to charge jurisdictions for
    referencing the NEC, which would be very hard to do for something anyone can
    freely copy.

    A proper ruling would require that the pricing be reasonable. It should be
    such that the cost of publishing, printing, and distribution is covered, and
    leave enough so that the "profits" cover the NFPA costs to keep the NEC up
    to date on an ongoing basis. Fair use should be provided for, as well, which
    should allow people discussing the issue in general. However, quoting the
    NEC as consulting or engineering work product should be limited, since this
    is a case of commercial gain from copying. OTOH, NFPA should provide for a
    reasonable work product licensing scheme. AHJ's should not need to quote the
    NEC for inspection purpose. They can simply cite the number of the paragraph(s)
    that apply and possibly reference how the code applies to the inspected work.
    But even if an AHJ copies the applicable paragraph for a red tag, I don't see
    that as a point of commercial gain.

    One fair use I do think is appropriate is for libraries to make legal copies
    available for home-owner do-it-yourself people to read. Better they have an
    easy means to read it than not.
     
  5. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    I remember hearing this as well. But 'access' can simply mean they have a
    paper copy in the office they will let you read while standing at the
    counter. Not the most helpful form of 'access'.

    daestrom
     
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