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Institute for Legal Questions on Free and Open Source Software

tpm

The right to fix software and repair hardware

by Florian Idelberger

Two interesting developments regarding the right to repair took place recently – a request for a preliminary ruling (Working Document) was brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union, in January in which the court is asked to clarify Article 5 of Council Directive 91/250/EEC regarding decompilation to fix errors in software or disable certain functionality that is malfunctioning, and in a recent issue of Jipitec, the anti-competitive impact of software TPMs (technological protection measures) preventing repair by third parties or consumers was analysed. Both these instances are not directly connected as such, but they highlight ongoing legal uncertainty and potential hardship in applying the law on software licensing in specific cases such as repairing systems that employ TPMs and fixing software using decompilation tools or similar measures. » Weiter

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