Sigh. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision on Friday that says that software makers can use use licenses (in particular, shrink-wrap and click-wrap licenses) to keep you from legally reselling the software that you bought.
In other words, they just gutted the first-sale doctrine.
Guess What, You Don’t Own That Software You Bought
The somewhat poorly thought-out aspect of this ruling is that there is absolutely nothing keeping people from preventing any copyrighted work from resale on the used market. If you merely ship your book in a wrapper which includes a license agreement, you could be charged with copyright infringement for selling that book.
The EFF had this write up on the principle.
I have a suprising fascination with devices that can be reflashed with custom firmware. I have an old NSLU2 from Linksys. I have more than a couple WRT54Gish routers that run DD-WRT and Tomato. I have a Canon SD1100 that runs CHDK. I have an ASUS router that runs OpenWRT. And here’s another possible hackable device:
Installing OpenWrt on Seagate DockStar HOWTO
The gadgets used to be $99, but they are now on sale directly from Seagate for an entirely reasonable $39.99.
Sounds like too much fun.
Addendum: A bit of clicking reveals that the CPU is an ARM-compatible SOC running at 1.2Ghz (not shabby) and with 128 megabytes of DDR2 RAM and 256 MB of NAND flash. This is actually quite a bit beefier than any of the other OpenWRT compatible devices I have. Very interesting.
Addendum2: Apparently the Dockstar is essentially a version of the SheevaPlug, but at the $40 price point, quite a bit cheaper.