anyone scans/PDFs of the DEC (VMS) "grey wall" ?

Eric Smith eric at
Sun May 18 14:40:57 CDT 2008

Dan wrote:
> Of course your comments are all US-based.

Which I explicitly stated.

> I'm in Canada, and thankfully things are still a bit different here.

Not that much.  Slightly better in some ways, and slightly worse
in others.  The biggest difference is that AFAIK Canada doesn't
(yet) have an equivalent of the US DMCA, though they keep trying.

The term of copyright in Canada is the life of the author plus 50
years.  That's not as long as the term of US copyrights, but it is
still long enough that almost no computer software qualifies.

> We're even allowed to copy things - as long as they're for personal use,
> that's a major difference.

Incorrect.  There are limited "fair dealing" rights, roughly equivalent
to the US "fair use" rights, but "personal use" is NOT sufficient to
qualify.  If Disney brings suit against you for making a copy of one
of their films, and your defense is simply that the copy was only for
personal use, Disney will prevail.  It doesn't appear that the
situation is likely to be any different for software, or for
computer documentation.

> Hopefully, some day, govt's will realize making things too draconian will
> only make it worse and drive everyone underground.

That would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath.  Legislators are
beholden to their major campaign contributors, few of whom have any
interest in seeing copyright restrictions loosened.


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