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Concerning the legality of replacing software which is present on hardware in our possession

Sunday 18 November 2007

1 Replacing software present on property belonging to us

Civil Code Article 537 ensures free disposal of property which belongs to us [1]:

" Private individuals have the free disposal of property which belongs to them, subject to the modifications established by legislation. "

The Article explicitly recalls " lex specialia generalibus derogante " principle which means that specific law departs from the general rule. As there are no, in French Law, specific cases which can be applied to replacing software present on hardware in our possession. It is therefore legal to replace software present on hardware in our possession by other software. 2 Using the new software to achieve illegal acts is forbidden

Although it is legal to replace software present on hardware in our possession, using this new software can make it possible to carry out illegal acts. For instance, replacing software, on your favorite Walkman, to skirt digital right managements is illegal [2, 3, 4, 5]. References

[1] Code civil, Article 537.

[2] Intellectual property code, Article L. 335-3-1.

[3] Intellectual property code, Article L. 335-3-2.

[4] Intellectual property code, Article L. 335-4-1.

[5] Intellectual property code, Article L. 335-4-2. Attached documents

* Pdf version of this note (PDF - 69.8 kb)

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