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Is modifying Memory legal?


Departure

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Okay pretty stupid question, but... if you really think about it its not as stupid as it sounds. Lets say you "patch" a file from a company that requires a fee to use after a trial period, This patch modified the bytes on HD to use the product after its trial period, I could expect that this is just cause for prosecution and be fined or jailed accordingly. but now using a memory loader you do not modify the companies file at all, Instead you are modifying your own memory which you own. Infact you should be charging the company a leasing fee to use your memory to host there application.... Would this hold up in court? would the judge/jury what every.. be aware of the difference between patching the actual file and modifying bytes in your PC memory? I guess it would come down to if they had enough proof that your intent was to bypass the trial period time. But how could they prove that, it could simply be application bugs. what of the trial period was bypassed with a single byte in memory $01 or $00, would "over writing" 1 byte in YOUR Pc memory be enough for you to fined or jailed?

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Of course it would depend from one locality to another but i would think that the delivery method would not be so important as the fact that protection has been circumvented for the purposes of defeating DRM, that is only an opinion though so it might be right off the mark.

HR,

Ghandi

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Reductio ad absurdum..

Let's suppose that you have TrueCrypt encrypted USB key with software on it. You run the software from key and remove the key from PC. Software is still running in memory, but there are no files to be found anywhere on disk. Does that mean you're running the software legally? ;)

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Good point kao, And lets say that software is running in memory and for some unknown reason at a particular memory address 1 byte was changed from $0 to $1 is that enough for you to jailed or fined from the company who made the software? or as you said are you legally able to use that software when the original files are not present, are you even allowed to encrypt the file? is encrypting the file on the usb stick breaking the law? patching a file could be also classed as encrypting it with side effects(bypasses trail period)

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patching a file could be also classed as encrypting it with side effects(bypasses trail period)

i agree with ghandi here, it`s probably more about the intent.

I would suspect you wont get in trouble for encrypting/splitting/compressing or otherwise modifying the file on disk, if the functionality of the software is not harmed. If you, however, modify it with the intent of acquiring a service you did not pay for, then there will be problems.

Same goes for memory, if you randomly modify bytes in your memory because you think it``s just so much fun - no problem.

If you knowingly break some DRM in the process - problem.

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Same goes for memory, if you randomly modify bytes in your memory because you think it``s just so much fun - no problem.

If you knowingly break some DRM in the process - problem.

This is exactly my point, How do they prove you just didn't randomly modify bytes in memory "because its so much fun", Intent is the keyword here and changing a single byte in memory surly can not be classified as intent as they have no way to prove it. Lets say there where many bytes modified in memory and something like "Cracked by 1337 hax0r" was in the same memory address as the application, then I would call this intent... but a single byte? I dont think that is intent but I could be totally wrong and it could land your ass in jail. I haven't read any cases of this kind of modifying memory bytes being in any court case, Maybe someone else has read about large fines and/or jail sentences from modifying applications in memory as opposed to hard patching?

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Excellent discussion.. I believe the authors software is untouched in this example.

Every file, every piece of original code is untouched - at no time have you interfered or 'reversed' any of the authors code or files.

If they are so "stupid" that the registration routine goes outside of the app and uses your PCs memory.. then as the rightful owner of said memory you can tweak/adjust/play/alter anything you want - you own that memory - you own the PC - you can do what you want.

If the author has a problem with you playing with your memory... too bad.

Alter his apps coding = illegal.

Alter your memory, on your PC = legal.

.............great discussion item :)

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as intent as they have no way to prove it.

that`s right, and i was about to comment on that, too. At lest according to common western law they would have to prove that to you.

It`s unlikely you will get jailed for using cracked software - usually you will have to pay a fine. And then that`s not for modifying some memory (or files) but for using (features of) a software, that you werent licensed to use, thereby breaking the legal conditions.

I would also argue it`s intent if you modify the same byte(s) each time you launch the application, and then use the acquired premium features.

Certainly would be an interesting law suit... ;)

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