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DMCA Invoked Against Garage Door Openers 563

Posted by michael
from the take-that,-evildoer dept.
boijames writes "In the latest bit of DMCA lunacy, copyright guru David Nimmer turned me onto a case that his firm is defending, where a garage door opener company (The Chamberlain Group) has leveled a DMCA claim (among other claims) against the maker of universal garage door remotes (Skylink)."
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DMCA Invoked Against Garage Door Openers

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  • by Merkins (224523) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:14AM (#5093588) Homepage
    It's an open and shut case.

    Boom boom
  • This is good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Interfacer (560564) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:14AM (#5093590)
    the DCMA should be invoke against as much ridiculus things as possible.

    that way maybe legislators and voters will see the lunacy in all its perverted glory.

    in Soviet Russia the DCMA invokes YOU.
    • by Old Wolf (56093) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:16AM (#5093598)
      They fight against US laws restricting freedom of speech...

      Oh how the tables have turned
    • Re:This is good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by frp001 (227227) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:21AM (#5093616)
      Honestly... I pity you guys who live in USA, it seems that this stupid law (amongst others, like (C) length) and the dirty habit of sorting competition through court is going to kill off new business and innovation.
      OTOH this is a good opportunity for emerging countries less regarding on these aspects.
      • Re:This is good (Score:5, Informative)

        by jorlando (145683) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:37AM (#5093695)
        I don't think so... I think that US will try to force simmilar legislation on other countries (by means of commercial treaties, intelectual properties agreements, etc).

        Since the US is such a commercial and industrial giant most countries will change laws to not loose commercial oportunities and we'll get at, some point in the future, a estagnation in inovation (or at least, innovation that doesn't pay royalties to some IP-only company).

        Brazil has some of it's plants patented by foreign companies, that used breachs in their country of origin to patent these plants as medicines as if they had discovered it's medicinal properties... someday I'll discover that some IP fscked company has patented guava-tree leafs as a medicine for stomachache and that is an inovative use, but that is as fact known in Brazil since the days of my grand-grand mother (and before that, probably) and nobody patented it (how do you patent common-sense or folklore?).

        This is dishonest from a ethical point of view? Yes, but companies aren't known for being ethical, they exist to profit.

        IP laws are popping from everywhere. I think that some day you'll have to pay a tax for saying "Mickey".

        I pity the guys living in US, but I pity them 'cause I see that as what will come to the rest of the world. They are only suffering first, we're the next in line...
        • by $rtbl_this (584653) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:51AM (#5093778)

          I think that some day you'll have to pay a tax for saying "Mickey".

          That's just taking the mick... er... piss! I meant to say "piss" (well, assuming that doesn't get me sued by the brewers of Fosters).

        • Re:This is good (Score:3, Informative)

          by Gyan (6853)
          Brazil has some of it's plants patented by foreign companies, that used breachs in their country of origin to patent these plants as medicines as if they had discovered it's medicinal properties... someday I'll discover that some IP fscked company has patented guava-tree leafs as a medicine for stomachache and that is an inovative use, but that is as fact known in Brazil since the days of my grand-grand mother

          The exact thing has happened to India. Ayurvedic medicine consisting of herbs has been patented in US whereas these compositions have been known in India for centuries.
        • Re:This is good (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PhilHibbs (4537)
          If those countries learn from the US experience (Lexmark, Chamberlain) and formulate their DMCA-like law so that it is less open to this kind of abuse, then there is a commercial advantage to basing your reverse-engineering business in those countries.
      • DMCA adopted by EU (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @01:32PM (#5095555) Homepage
        EU has already adopted the DMCA (under a different name, InfoSoc).

        It still needs to be made into law in the individual member nations, so far only Denmark and Greece have implemented it.
    • by The Monster (227884) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:24AM (#5093628) Homepage
      First they claim that the remote infringes on their patent for the 'Rolling Code' system, then they turn around and claim that the remotes do NOT in fact generate Rolling Codes, but instead send the same code each time.

      You can't have it both ways.

      Unless I'm really dense, the whole point of Rolling Codes is that there is an algorithm shared by the remote and opener that defines previously-used codes as invalid, so that a burglar who sniffs the code you use to open the garage today can't come back and use that code tomorrow. In that case, these devices should not be working, which should be grounds for the consumers to file a class-action, but it would be proof that they are NOT violating the patent on the Rolling Codes.

      • by MemeRot (80975) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:08AM (#5093913) Homepage Journal
        This is absolutely hilarious. They say they spent tons of money building this Rolling Code system, and that homeowners absolutely depend on its security. Yet they conveniently included a backdoor so that the same code will work over and over. But it's a 'synchronization code' so it's not a security hole in their system.

        Their implementation is horrendous and practically invites this. If they wanted a secure sytem, the remote could query the opener for a current timestamp, and then it could use that timestamp to generate an appropriate code and send it. To make the code specific to one door, you could enter the serial number of the opener into the remote as a seed for whatever code generating algorithm it uses, just program it once when you first buy it. You can obviously only see the serial number if you're inside the house so that should be pretty secure. It sound like they just have a list of 1000 codes and they go through it in order, which is why they need the synchronization code, in case you hit the button when you're out of range of the door and your remote is on 48 while the opener is on 46.

        I especially liked the verbal chicanery, where they use circumvent to mean 'got the door to open' rather than to mean 'break into the list of codes'. If the competing universal remote actually broke into the list of codes (which was encoded or protected somehow) then they may have broken the DMCA, but it seems like they just experimented with sending signals and found one that always opened the doors, it's not even reverse engineering, just discovering an undocumented API. Is a list of numbers even copyrightable? I wouldn't think so.....
        • by gorilla (36491) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:15AM (#5093959)
          I think it's becoming a rule that the DMCA is used whenever the original company does something really stupid.
        • Is a list of numbers even copyrightable? I wouldn't think so.....
          it would seem riciculous that a sequence of numbers, or number, can be copyrighted...but isn't that massive long prime used in CSS encryption copyrighted? you're not allowed to host code with it in anyway..
        • by j-turkey (187775) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:51AM (#5094213) Homepage
          They say they spent tons of money building this Rolling Code system, and that homeowners absolutely depend on its security.

          I sure hope that they did not spend too much on that rolling code system. It sounds like a freaking joke:

          The rolling code changes with each actuation of the transmitter and increases by three. The computer program in the transmitter encrypts the identification code and rolling code by a scrambling algorithm that scrambles the binary digits representing the identification code and the rolling code.

          OK, so let's assume that the rolling code is a 6-digit number. It only changes when the garage door is opened, and the only change is that the rolling code is incremented by three. I'd bet dollars to dimes that the scrambling algorithm is simply an xor of the identification code and the rolling code. Meaning that only one known value is necessary (your identification code) to derive the other (the current state of the rolling code). Keep in mind that I'm no cryptographer (IANAC), but judging from their description of the cryptosystem, its only a half-step up from rot-13.

          That's not encryption...its a slight mathematical obfuscation. Maybe the DMCA would be a bit less unfair if there were a distinction made on this one.

          --Turkey
          • Straw man? (Score:3, Interesting)

            It seems as though you're setting up a straw man, and I'm not surprised that you succeeded in knocking it down.

            I'd bet dollars to dimes that the scrambling algorithm is simply an xor of the identification code and the rolling code.... That's not encryption...its a slight mathematical obfuscation.

            So you're saying, these guys are so stupid, I bet their encryption sucks. Wow, that encryption really does suck! What idiots!

            ...but judging from their description of the cryptosystem...

            And if their "scrambling code" is AES, or Skipjack, or Twofish, what then? (OK, so these codes are too new, but even say DES would be much more than enough to secure a garage door opener.)

            ...its only a half-step up from rot-13.

            I'd say XOR is a minor fifth up from rot-13, but that's beside the point. You're right that XOR is woefully easy to crack; in this case there is an easy, short-linear-time attack if you can sniff them once.
        • Forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't you legally allowed to reverse engineer interfaces for the sake of compatability anyway? Or does this not apply here?
        • by uradu (10768)
          > you could enter the serial number of the opener into the remote

          Except that that would complicate the UI of the remote (requiring at least 10 digit keys) and invite data entry errors--heck, some people can't even dial a 7-digit number without misdialling. Garage door openers usually require you to "register" a remote with the opener by pressing a button on the opener while pressing the remote button. This could be modified so that pressing the registration button on the opener makes it transmit a shared key to the remote via low-power INFRARED to lower the possibility of someone snooping the key. They could also use a direct connection instead of IR (maybe some contacts on the opener that the remote is pressed against), but low data rate IR is so damn cheap that cost shouldn't be an issue.
      • by outlier (64928) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:15AM (#5093960)
        yeah. It looks like the skylink sends a resynchronize signal to the garage door, then uses the default code to open it. (page 7 of the motion to dismiss pdf file)

        The claim is that by 'rebooting' the garage system and then using guest:guest instead of dealing with the standard password system, skylink is circumventing their protection to a copyrighted work.

        So, it's like having a building with a super-duper unpickable lock on the front door, but with an unlocked door on the side.

        My questions:
        1. could using this 'side door' be considered circumvention under the orginal (misguided) spirit of the law?

        2. Where's the copyrighted work? They seem to claim it is the rolling code algorithm, but the rolling code program is never accessed. Maybe they'll claim that they've copyrighted the inside of my garage... Maybe lexmart can get in on the deal if I start keeping my printer cartridges inside my garage.

        I don't think the DMCA was mentioned in any of the earlier filings. It looks to be a patent infringement case that some overzealous lawyer figured he'd add this cool DMCA thing to.

      • Unless I'm really dense, the whole point of Rolling Codes is that there is an algorithm shared by the remote and opener that defines previously-used codes as invalid, so that a burglar who sniffs the code you use to open the garage today can't come back and use that code tomorrow. In that case, these devices should not be working,

        "Rolling Code" systems have a feature that a wrong code will reset the receiver to the value sent.

        Says the door is expecting codes in the following sequence A B C D E F. Currently, the garage door is expecting C. You press the button on your remote, it sends C. Now suppose that due to some mishap, this is not received. A next press would send D which the garage door would reject, bceause it is out of sequence. Thus, a simple bodged transmission would forever desynchronize the garage door and the receiver. In order to avoid this, a bad code resets the receiver. After sending your D, the garage stays shut, but will reset itself so as to expect E next time. A next press on the operner will send E, which matches.

        The way those universal remotes work is that you have to press the button on your real opener twice when recording. When using it, the universal remote will play the two sequential codes back as recorded: the first code resets the receiver, and the second opens the door!

        That way, the universal remote "works" in the sense that it does open the door, but it removes any security associated with the "rolling code" scheme: a burglar who sets up a sniffing device near the door now gets two sequential codes, and can open the door too!

        • by Datafage (75835) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @01:27PM (#5095510) Homepage
          Actually, that makes it amusingly weak for a smart thief, even without the universal opener. Thief sits back and sniffs code from OEM opener. After person leaves home, resend that same code, guaranteeing the opener and receiver are at different stages on the sequence. Sniff again when the person gets home and has to use two consecutive codes to get the door open. Now you have the codes you need for access. Sure, it's a bit of trouble, but it could be worth it for some car thieves.
      • I actually bought an "encrypted" system that sits on top of an older garage door opening system that doesn't have any code rolling after my car got stolen in my garage. The way it works is you map the "button" wire to that receiver device, sync it's encrypted remote to it and then it's basically a relay that "presses the button" with an encrypted link.

        I Was trying to find articles about how secure it was, if there was any backdoors (like, ANY flaws that any good car thief would know about and render the whole system completely useless).

        Thanks to slashdot, I won't be able to sleep until I finish wiring the alarm system in the garage as well :).

        DMCA or not, if a company claims their device is 100% secure, you should have the TOTAL FREEDOM to either post the flaw publicly or ask them for a compensation to keep your mouth shut (I like that idea). It's not extortion, since their claims are false and they are giving a false sense of security to the people who are buying such systems. Don't make claims if they aren't true. Period.

    • i totally agree. i was a little on the fence about DMCA up till now (sort of as if to say "what's the big deal...hasn't affected my life")
      but this is truly ridiculous.
      reminds me of this guy [slashdot.org]
    • by The Tyro (247333) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:33AM (#5093675)
      Go read the pdf...

      they want a permanent injunction
      they want all profits from Skylink's device
      they want to impound all Skylink's stuff
      they then want to destroy all of Skylinks stuff
      they want treble damages
      they want attorney's fees

      but my favorite phrase is the "trafficking in a device that is designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing the technological measure" (referring to their rolling code tech).

      Cmon, ya jokers... It's a freakin' garage door opener, not an eight-ball of heroin...

      Sheesh...

      • by zentigger (203922) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @01:21PM (#5095428) Homepage
        We actually have a criminal charge for jokers like this in Canada. It's called mischief. The idea is that someone must be able to show that there is some merrit, and the law somehow applies to their case before they file suit. Usually this is accomplished by consulting a lawyer.

        I beleive that contempt of court charges can also be applied in a case where someone brings a case before a judge and the judge is forced to publicly laugh at their stupidity.
  • OMFG (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MImeKillEr (445828) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:15AM (#5093593) Homepage Journal
    Give me a freaking break.

    This is such BS. Please, someone take the authors and sponsors of the DMCA and shoot them out of a cannon into a brick wall.

    Whats next? Crayon suing other "crayon" manufacturers for making colored wax pencils? Georgia Pacific for suing other companies that process wood pulp?

    You certainly didn't see Chevy suing Dodge for making a 1500, 2500, and 3500 line of pickups. Dodge never sued anyone else for introducing quad cab doors on 1/2 ton trucks.

    This is simply got to be the most asinine law on the books recently.

  • This is good.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot&gmail,com> on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:15AM (#5093594) Homepage Journal
    The sillier the lawsuits are, the faster the public (& politicians) will see the law needs revision.

    Jaysyn
    • For crying out loud, the general public had seen this coming from the very first day the DMCA was introduced. Now do you think that the people who supported it will just turn around and abolish this law ? They have their positions to justify now... And while they're in power they will... 'nuff said.
    • Maybe not (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kiwimate (458274) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:26AM (#5093643) Journal
      If the lawsuit is seen to be silly, it'll be tossed out, but people will say, "See, the system of checks and balances did the job. No need to throw out the baby with the bathwater -- it's still a good law."

      There are too many powerful groups with a vested interest to let this go by the way. Minor revisions, perhaps, but it's not going to create a huge ruckus or make any major difference to the law. Even if this particular case gains some notoriety, it'll be forgotten in a month and the vested interest groups will have won. Again.

      Not that I'm jaded or cynical or anything.
    • Re:This is good.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by milo_Gwalthny (203233) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:05AM (#5093890)
      Would this was so. But, note how long silly lawsuits have been going on and being ridiculed in the press with absolutely no action being taken by our 'representatives.' I would include a reference to a coffee-hot lawsuit except that defenders of the right to be stupid would start flaming me.

      The US Congress is a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate america, reporting directly to the Disney corporation. As long as they can get away with having their cake (money from corporations) and eating it too (getting reelected by the voters they are screwing) they will. It stands to nature, at least the corrupt cesspool-like nature of anyone who would become a politician.

      One solution: vote. And ask questions of the people you are voting for, like: who, exactly, do you plan to represent? Me, or NYSE:DIS?
      • Re:This is good.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dun Malg (230075) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:07AM (#5094328) Homepage
        I would include a reference to a coffee-hot lawsuit except that defenders of the right to be stupid would start flaming me

        OK, then how about I flame you for not knowing the reason for the big award in the hot coffee lawsuit:
        Woman spills hot coffee in her lap and gets big $$$. Sounds absurd, but McDonald's was not just an innocent vendor of coffee who failed to warn a customer not to put the coffee cup in her lap. No, the problem was the McDonald's was heating the coffee water to 190 degrees in order to get more yield from a given quantity of coffee grounds. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but they were serving the coffee at 190 degrees. Anything over 160 degrees is dangerous. At 190 degrees, burns are practically guaranteed. At 190 degrees, styrofoam will become soft. You see where this is leading? McDonald's had been warned numerous times in the past not to serve their coffee that hot, but they continued. Then someone got hurt and required a lot of expensive reconstructive surgery. McDonald's claimed it was her own fault for putting the coffee cup in her lap. The judge, however, seeing that McDonalds knew 190 degree coffee was dangerous, but decided to negligently endanger customers in order to maximize profit ruled against them. He levied punitive damages equal to five days' coffee sales, which turned out to be several million dollars. McDonald's no longer serves their coffee at 190 degrees, but it took more than just warnings to make them stop. It took a big punitive damage hit.
        This case, I think, is one of the few cases where the system actually worked, and it just frosts me that people still think that it was a frivolous lawsuit with McDonald's as the innocent victim.

      • I would include a reference to a coffee-hot lawsuit except that defenders of the right to be stupid would start flaming me.

        OOPS, TOO LATE!

        The only ones exercising their right to be stupid in the 'infamous' McDonald's hot coffee case were McDonald's themselves.

        If McD's had been free of fault, the woman spilling coffee on her lap would have only resulted in mild discomfort and stained clothing. Instead, she got serious burns and required immediate medical attention. If she had tried to drink the coffee, she would have damaged her mouth and throat quite badly.

        Do you deserve to have the skin on your genitals peel off for a single act of clumsiness? Of course not, no one does. McD's was sued and punished because their behavior was unsafe and led to injury. It was a completely legitimate lawsuit.

        The FAT people suing FAsT food chains because they didn't know eating FAT would make them FAT, on the other hand...

    • Re:This is good.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TygerFish (176957)
      I don't think that the silly lawsuits are a valid cause for enthusiasm.

      Our age didn't invent the stupid law or the weird implementation. Our age did not give birth to the damned silly lawsuit. The root of the problem is not the time in which we live, but the deterioration of the values of American politicians to which our age is witness.

      It's a fascinating paradox: now, in an age with never-before-imaginable possibilities for public scrutiny of political actions, American politicians have become brazen in their pandering to special interests that run counter to the public good.

      As Justice Stevens's dissenting opinion in yesterday's Supreme Court cited, an inventor had lobbied congress for a patent extension in the 1790's, not long after the laws governing patents had been given their initial form. Steven's citation notes that the inventor successfully lobbied congress for an extension of his patent, but Stevens noted that it took the man years to gather the support needed to make Congress grant his extension--an extension which Stevens opines was unconstitutional.

      Contrast the men of those Congressional sessions with the people behind the DMCA and the sickening Sonny-Bonno extension, and you see the actions of men who don't see themselves as public servants, or as honorable men with the heritage of a nation to protect. Looked at this way, it's all intellectual clear-sailing and there is nothing surprising at all to be found in a law that facilitates lawsuits that raise the cost of innovation against the public interest.

      Basically, 'they're creeps. They don't care. The results are not surprising.

  • by Mals (159840) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:17AM (#5093600)
    If universal tv remote manufacturers are next on the list to be hit by the DMCA
  • by boaworm (180781) <boaworm@gmail.com> on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:17AM (#5093601) Homepage Journal
    ... because it seems a universal garage opener could be used for ill purposes, like opening someone elses garage and steal his stuff, or close the garage port onto someones car when driving in/out. Sounds like making a universal key that can unlock any lock... that wouldn't be appreciated either, would it ?


    Then again, i dont think you can make a universal key, so someone must have been doing some bad thinking if they designed garage door remotes like this.

    • I don't know if it is still the case, but you used to be able to be able to open doors with a 27mhz CB radio.

      So, either they have done a whole bunch to secure them. Or there is nothing stopping you from opening someones door already.

      insert wardriving joke here
    • by jdreed1024 (443938) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:38AM (#5093703)
      because it seems a universal garage opener could be used for ill purposes, like opening someone elses garage and steal his stuff,

      Not really. Universal garage door openers have a bunch of DIP switches that you need to set to match the frequency and manufacturer of the receiver. I have a Skylink universal opener, and there is one DIP switch for the frequency setting, 8 for the manufacturer, and 8 for the code. Do the math. It would take a long time to try each combination, and I think most people, if they noticed some guy in a car sitting in front of their house for a while, would call the cops.

      Thieves do exploit automatic garage door openers, but there are more sophisticated devices that simply scan and capture the signal from a legitimate transmitter and use that to open the door. (That's why most new garage door openers have rolling codes - so the same signal isn't accepted twice in a row).

      i dont think you can make a universal key

      Yes you can. It's called a master key. You have to be a locksmith, or be really good at social engineering to get one. And it only works for a subset of models of a specific brand of lock. But, yes, if some guy goes to your house, and recognizes that you have a Yale lock, model $foo, then he could likely get a master key for it.

      Anyway, back to remotes. This is ridiculous. Skylink is filling a market that wouldn't otherwise exist. When the remote for our garage door opener crapped out (well, it broke in half, but that's another story), I went to get a new one. Quoth the company (after about an hours worth of phone tag) "No, sorry, we don't make replacement remotes for those anymore. Why don't you try a universal remote?"

      I think The Chamberlain Group doesn't actually give a shit about patent infringement (which is what this is about - go read the case). I think what we're seeing in this case, and with Lexmark, and with the many more cases that will come, is the result of desperation. These companies are looking for a quick buck in hard economic times and understandably so. The DMCA has given them a great tool with which to make this quick buck. Now, if Skylink was some new fly-by-nite company from China that was ripping off these remotes, I'd have a little more sympathy for the Chamberlain Group. But they're not. Skylink has been around since _at least_ 1993 (that I know of), and probably longer. There are Skylink products on the shelf of every Home Depot in the country, and they've been there for 5 years (that I know of). I sincerely hope the judge tells The Chamberlain Group to fuck off, but I suspect he won't.

    • Universal does not mean that it can open any garage at will. Universal means that it has the ability to be securely trained by different systems. Unless you have access to the garage door opener (the motor and circuit board in the ceiling in the garage) then you cannot program any kind of remote.

      Garage door openers use code hopping and many other kinds of security. The days of CB and dip switch hacking to open garage doors are over. So, yes, this lawsuit is pure bull. It is not about making remotes that bypass the security. It is about making cheap universal remotes that compete with the $67.00 Gene(tm) replacement remote that you lost somewhere in the landscaping.
    • Hmmm.... my opener has a 10 digit authentication code, somebody will have a cool time hacking that one. Even if that only leaves 1024 possibilities the burglar would have to try every combination which translates into sitting in front of my garage in the freezing cold for a few hours. My garage door opener is an old one of course and I suspect the security on modern garage door openers is much tighter. The point here seems to be that this universal remote the manufacturer of the garage door opener feels so threatened by will work with most kinds of opener and not that it will work like a master key to open every garage door at random. If this suit suceeds the manufacturer of the garage door opener could set him self up as the only supplyer of remotes for his own openers. This in it self is not so bad, if he sells the spare remotes at a reasonable price. Unfortunately businesses of any kind, once in a monopoly position, have a sorry history of charging obscene prices. This translates into you the consumer paying a lot more than you have to for a spare remote. What's more he could sue anyone who tries to elnbow in on his little monopoly out of business. All thanks to DMCA. The more time that passes the more DMCA is being discovered not as a copyright protection tool but a general purpose profit generation and competition elimination tool of hitherto unknow potential. I somehow dont thik that eliminating competitors was the idea behind DMCA. If it was this piece of legislation should not be called DMCA (Digital Milennium Copyright Act) but DMCIA (Digital Milennium Competition Inhibition Act)
    • by Scorchio (177053) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:11AM (#5093936)
      In a way, using a 3rd party remote is like going down to the local keycutters shop and getting a copy of your front door key made. It's not authorised by the manufacturer of your front door lock and it's a direct copy of part of their product. I wouldn't want that to be illegal. If I needed a spare key, I'd have to go to the door lock manufacturer every time, and hope they didn't go out of business, otherwise I'd have to change the lock.

      Anyhow.. there are a a couple of bizarre points brought up by the lawyers. Firstly, they reckon that Skylink's transmitters "when set to operate Chamberlain's rolling code GDOs, have no other purpose or use than to circumvent Chamberlain's technological protective measure". Does "opening my garage door so I can get the car in" not count as a use? Secondly, they claim that "Skylink's [] transmitters are marketed for use in circumventing Chamberlain's technological protective measures", and go on to explain that Skylink "promotes its universal transmitters as additional transmitters to be used with Chamberlain's rolling code GDO systems". I could understand it if Skylink promoted it's transmitters as "great for bypassing the security measures on your neighbour's Chamberlain garage door".

      It seems to imply that the sole use of the Skylink device is to gain unauthorised access to other people's property. However, that clearly isn't the case. Just like DeCSS, it can be used for legal and illegal purposes. Unless Skylink's intentions can be proven to be to develop the transmitter primarily for illegal purposes - which I'm also fairly sure isn't the case - then this should be thrown out. Of course, this all relies on common sense being applied, with which the DMCA seems to be mutually exclusive...
  • Universal Remotes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by attobyte (20206)
    Well I guess Universal remotes are next. So when are the retards in DC going to wake up. That should be the next poll.
  • ..ass bigntime. What is next? Universal TV remotes? I recently had the misfortune that a child (Somebody elses btw) broke my TV remote After trying for ages to get a new remote out of the manufacturer, they finally sent me to his subcontratctor who sent me still somewhere else with the general result that I did not get an autheintic brand remote with all the channel setting features. So I bought a Universal one which after a bit of hacking turned out to have all the features of the old one. If this suit is won We will have a nice Kafaesqe situation where you cant get a replacement remote or at best can only buy a universal one at hugely inflated prices.

    With all the voices here on /. defending the righ of big buisinesses to screw us consumers over with DMCA they will probably suceed.
    • Hahaha. The last sentence of the parent comment seems to be a vivid example of the "Everyone's against me" syndrome on Slashdot. I've seen a lot of people (myself included) over-focus on the comments that are contrary to their opinion, and assume that everyone on Slashdot disagrees with them.

      I suggest you go back through the comments in this article and count the number of pro-DMCA posts. Even if you include the trolls, I don't think you'll hit more than 30%. :)

      • Ya.. well.. that comment was a blooper, I accidentally hit the Submit button when I meant to hit Preview. I intended to edit the post further before submitting it. I wish they would move the Submit button to the other side of the combo box. Ahh well .. Karma burns .......
  • by uncleFester (29998) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:25AM (#5093636) Homepage Journal
    The recent rash of DMCA cases have involved actions taken before the statute was in place. I mean, before too long tech companies could start suing each other claiming one company's processor is a copyright infringement on another. I guess the next thing on the list is el-cheapo TV remotes being removed from the market.

    This is steadily going beyond ridiculous, making our country an even larger laughing stock.
  • HAND? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Doctor Hu (628508)
    Admittedly, the hand I use to open my own garage door could be considered a digital device, but I thought that living organisms could only be patented, not copyrighted.

    --
    "Observation collapsed the wave function of the experimental subject to a deceased state" - Schroedinger

  • Banning universal TV remote controls? (TV manufacturers "protecting" communication between remote and TV)

    How about computer peripherals? (No, you'll have to use a GreedyCorp(R) keyboard with that GreedyCorp(R) computer. And don't you try to circumvent the "protection" mechanism!)
  • Hmmm. This comes along just as my son is considering a career in Patent Law. Now that Silcon Valley work is at a near dead stop, the traffic seems to have gone to folks grasping at straws to make or keep a buck. Innovation such as universal remotes can and should be done. I just bought one that work my entertainment center equipment for instance.

    But leave it to some company who wants all the pie to nail down all the loose ends and give the consumer less innovation

  • Hardly Informative (Score:5, Informative)

    by DeadSea (69598) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:27AM (#5093650) Homepage Journal
    The link is hardly informative. It gives no extra information at all.

    I was able to find a website for The Chamberlain Group [chamberlain.com] (the garage door manufacturer). Skylink [skylink-ho...curity.com] (the remote manufacturer) also has a web site. Neither appears to have any information about the lawsuit.

    I called Chamberlain's tech support number and got the number for their corporate offices: 1-800-282-6225. They said to ask for the legal depatment. If somebody with better journalism skills than I would like to follow up and ask all the questions that people have raised here, we would all appretiate you.

  • The transition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IPFreely (47576) <mark@mwiley.org> on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:29AM (#5093657) Homepage Journal
    Things like this show the transition in IP usage. When the Patent office can't or won't grant someone a patent (as if that ever happens), then the submittor changes to copyright law, and claims whatever they have is copyrighted instead. The standard for copyright has been streached to cover soo much, so just about anything can be claimed to be copyrightable.

    This is only really useful now because there was no real legal teeth for this sort of thing in copyright law until the DMCA. It specifically references technological issues, it is vague as to what it covers, and it carries criminal penelties.

    Look for more patent style/interoperability contests to be faught through the DMCA.

  • I can use my palm pilot as a TV remote, is this illegial too now? The DMCA is getting a little ridiculous. Next thing you know, we will sign an EULA when we buy a TV or garage door opener. I don't think we can stand for this, somthing needs to be done to overthrow the DMCA, it is getting worse and worse over time. I can understand (not agree with though) why microsoft would want copy protection on the XBox, but now garage door openers? Somthing needs to be done.
    • If would be if the the signal from remote to the tv was encrypted. As it is currently tv companies don't encrypt thier signals.
      And when this case is wrong by the company bringing the case, I don't think many tv manufacters will bother to do so since the market for additional remotes is not big enough to hassel the customer about.
  • by GeekWithGuns (466361) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:32AM (#5093671) Homepage

    Not to be overly optimistic here, but I think this case could show just how bad the DMCA really is to Joe Public. It is not being used as intended (Take my copyrighted material off your website now! or Your taking my crapy "digital protection" off my copyrighted work, stop it!), but instead it is being used as a bully tactic. Right or wrong the copyright holder should be able to protect what he thinks are his works, but with the DMCA he has been given a club that is far to large.

    Just being a little less optimistic, my bet is that one of the following happens:

    • The DMCA charge fails because of the reverse engineering parts of the law. - DUH!
    • The plantif drops that charge and goes after something else and wins on that. DMCA dosen't get its day in court like it needs.
    • This whole thing gets thrown out because it was just silly to begin with.

    But what I would like to see happen is that they loose a battle with the DMCA and it goes all the way to the Supreme Court. (Where in a 7 to 2 decision they decide that the Congress can extend copyrights indefinitly because that is a limited ammount of time - oh what wrong thread.)

    I just seems like nobody wants to test this new law, but everybody wants to use it like the club it was designed to be. Somebody need to fight this thing in court, but that will take years and lots of cash.

  • What did they do, lose the REAL garage door opener in the couch?

    I mean, really - LOOK IN YOUR CAR.

    Or was it that lugging around all the remotes for the ever present seven car garage was getting tiresome?

    • And if the original breaks? Or you want to control 2 garage doors (made by different manufacturers) from one remote?

      My old garage door opener was acting irratically, and it wasn't due to low batteries. I bought a new universal remote, coded it, and now I have a 3x the usable range and can control both garage doors if I ever need to.

      The remote I had was a replacement remote too. What happened to the original? Hell if I know. I'm the 4th or 5th owner of the house. One of the previous owners could've accidentilly taken it when vacating, run over it, fed it to the dog, or whatever.

      And your post got modded up too... how sad.
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BJH (11355) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:34AM (#5093682)

    After reading the motion for summary judgement, what it looks like to me is this:

    The manufacturer effectively implemented a OTP (one-time password) scheme in their remotes and receivers.

    As anyone who has used OTPs knows, you have to know which password comes next in the sequence to get in.

    Because the manufacturer couldn't think of a good way to get around this problem, they made the receiver accept a reset code that forces it to resync on the next code received.

    Now they're bitching because someone else figured this out and using the reset code to allow their third-party remotes to activate the receiver.

    There's a lot of bullshit about burglars and stuff, but what it basically comes down to is they thought up a great new security scheme, and then drove a ten-ton truck through it in the name of convenience. Tough shit for them, I say.

  • Different look (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IgD (232964)
    It is fun to criticize silly cases like this however we need more of them! Cases like these are much more likely to result in rulings against the DMCA. I suppose for most judges it is easier to visualize a garage door opener then a complex software proggie.
  • by Cheap Imitation (575717) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:37AM (#5093696)
    Does this mean each garage door manufacturer is going to come out with their own unique remote signal? Will we soon hear television ads proclaiming the new DoorUp2005 supports a 128bit encrypted remote to keep terrorists out of your garage?

    What happens then if you lose your remote, and you can't get a replacement except by mail from the manufacturer? And if you open the door manually, circumventing the (now lost) encrypted remote, are you violating the DMCA?

    Will this mean more highly encrypted garage door systems won't be able to be exported? After all, we wouldn't want terrorists and rogue nations to be able to protect their SUVs from the prying eyes of espionage!

  • Can I use the DMCA? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by milktoastman (572643)
    Let's say I go to radio shack and buy a blue project box, a few indicator lights, and a couple logic gates, a couple of push switches, and digital audio recording chip.

    Then, I build a little device out of the parts consisting of the "black box" with two buttons and two lights. When you press one button, one light comes on. When you press two, two lights come on and there's sound.

    Now, since this is technically a digital device, if I throw a price tag on it is it illegal for any one to come by and open it up?

  • That always confused me on Stargate - what the hell did GDO stand for? Now it all makes sense.
  • I'm calling upon the Swiss under the Geneva Convention to investegate Chamberlain.

    They've taken logic and common sense and tortured them beyond all recognition. They claim the rolling code (which is used in ever modern garage door opener) is a form of encryption that protects the computer program that enables the garage door to go up and down. At this point, logic is tied down on a wooden table and they're shoving bamboo shoots under logic's fingernails.

    This is not a DMCA matter; its simply a matter of a far east competitor coming up with a cheaper universal remote control; they've lost the Lowe account and the Home Depot account is threatened.

    If judge doesn't throw this out, then he/she is an utter moron.
  • by Froobly (206960) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:47AM (#5093739)
    I skimmed the brief, and the DMCA claim seemed to boil down to this:

    Plaintiff makes a garage door opener that is keyed to Plaintiff's remote. Defendent creates garage remote capable of being keyed to many different garage door openers, including Plaintiff's. Purpose of garage doors is to secure property inside garage. Therefore Plaintiff's device is an anti-piracy (as in nautical theft) device, which is "circumvented" by an "unauthorized" (third-party) key (remote control).

    This seems analagous to a lock company suing a locksmith for duplicating keys (assuming these keys don't say "do not duplicate" on them), since the company made the locks and keys to go with them, making the existence of a key not made by the lock company a circumvention device.

    I wonder how long before we see such a suit filed?
    • This seems analagous to a lock company suing a locksmith for duplicating keys (assuming these keys don't say "do not duplicate" on them)

      I think what Chamberlin is saying is that their GDO technology effectively has "do not duplicate" on it, and Skylink is simply ignoring it.

      Plus the key copying example isn't really a good analogy in this case, since in order to make a copy of a physical key, you must first POSSESS the physical key (well I know not necessarily, but in the most common use case you do). Therefore it wouldn't make any sense to be able to sue someone who creates a dupe of a key since the person wanting the dupe already has a working key in possession. A better example (though still not perfect) would be that of a locksmith who sold MASTER keys to anyone.
  • Bleak outlook... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BrodieBruce (575127)
    From Declan's email:

    Not, I think, what Congress had in mind when enacting the DMCA.

    Sadly, I think the only thing going through Congressmen's minds when they pass laws is somthing along the lines of:

    • What the hell is DRM?
    • Why didn't we use the word paradigm at the end of DMCA? The more buzzwords, the fewer calls from constituents I'll get.
    • Alright, let me pull up my sleeve so I can see the note on my arm regarding which way the lobbyist told me to vote.
    • Man, we need some more hot, permiscuous interns.
    • Oh crap, my ass just fell asleep. I'd better get up there and filibuster for a while to get it to wake up.

    Yes, I am an American, and proud to say so. But, I am also embarassed by so many of our politicians, or should I say, our corporate-controlled politicians. Sad but true, Corporate America is the aristocracy of the new world.

    I went through years of school where I was taught that we fought for independence from Great Britain because of taxation without representation and a lack of other such basic freedoms.

    And now we're faced with pretty much the same thing. Sure, we elect politicians. But the corporations pay for their campaigns, shower them with "perks" (aka: legal bribes), and tell them how to vote. Sure, frivolous claims such as this garage door crap is going to make people realize the DMCA is stupid. But it's most likely corporations, rather than constituents, will control how the DMCA is modified.

  • In related news... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KeyserDK (301544) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:47AM (#5093747) Homepage
    I can actually start Simcity 4 with my original Battlefield 1942 CD.
    It even shows a nice Battlefield 1924 logo when starting simcity 4.
    I'm not lying :=)

    So is my bought battefield 1942 cd a circumvention device?

    And can EA sue EA for making a curcumvention device that breaks EA's copy protection?
    • No... (Score:3, Funny)

      But they can sue YOU for telling us all about this circumvention technique. After all, the BF1942 CD has "substantial non-infringing use"... But you chose to tell us how to utilize its one infringing use :-)
  • It all comes down to profit, doing a quick search the average cost of the company bring the suit is $35US. However for the same functionality and size you can purchase one from Skylink for under $20US.
  • The tech... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mt-biker (514724) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:49AM (#5093757)
    I'll leave the outrage at the stupid use of a stupid law to other posters.

    The summary judgment motion is the more interesting document, which (partially) describes how the technology works.

    What it doesn't say is how Chamberlain's (the plaintiff) remote control resynchronises with the receiver. This is interesting, since it's this resynchronisation that Skylink's (the defendant) remote control uses to trigger Chamberlain's receiver. By doing so, Skylink circumvent the rolling-code mechanism that's supposed to protect the Chamberlain device from code-grabbers.

    I wonder how Skylink have done this - does their remote control learn how to resynchronise from an original remote control? Have they also needed to crack Chamberlain's code to be able to do this? If so, that's a second circumvention, isn't it?

    Lastly, you have to wonder how buggy/weak Chamberlain's code/system is if it can be so easily circumvented. But I guess that's not relevant under the DMCA. :(

    (IANAL)
    (Anyone got a Skylink RC? Can you comment on the process of teaching it to open your door?)
  • act puzzled when people place them among the world's most utterly despised professions.

    Notice to lawyers: start policing your own profession or you'll NEVER shed your image problem. At least doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. When they act in a dishonorable or unscruplous manner, they catch hell for it--from their own. You guys need to start doing something like this.

    So...it's wintertime; when does lawyer hunting season begin? We seem to hunt every other thing here in PA...and the deer aren't going out of their way to make life harder >:)
  • by Gyan (6853)

    I had a new controller coming up...

    So, I guess its back to "Open, Sesame" now.
  • Bad laws are just that, bad laws. I don't disagree with all of the intentions of the DMCA, I mean protecting copyright is important. But bad laws can be made to protect good things. This is one of those cases. The only remedy for this, is to revoke the bad laws, and create new, good laws.
  • by chiark (36404) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:52AM (#5093785) Homepage Journal
    The plaintiff is claiming that the DCMA has been violated because the device is circumventing security.

    It is.

    However, this is closing the door after the horse has bolted and the plaintiff should be facing a class action for claiming that something is secure despite having a massive loophole that allows someone to force the door to open without the right, programmed remote control!

    The DCMA is being used to try to get these things off the market because of the stupidity of the manufacturers in creating a basically insecure device and marketing it as secure.

    The manufacturers shoudl be strung up - this stinks...
  • by Effugas (2378) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:56AM (#5093804) Homepage
    I own a garage. It has a door.

    I own an opener for that door. I even own the remote.

    By, "I own", I mean it's my property -- it's not like I'm in some strange "leasing" arrangement, where, say, I need to ask permission from the last person who owned the garage door if it's OK now to open it on up.

    See, it's mine. I can do with it what I want. If the guy who sold me the door says I can't do what I want with it, I say, he shouldn't have taken my credit card. It's not his property anymore, it's mine.

    And if he says the door was his idea, his "intellectual property", I'll kindly point out that, er, that's nice, see that door? It's my door. Not your door. My door. My very nice door, sure -- great ideas behind it, I don't usually buy products with crappy ideas behind them. I think the goodness of the idea was inherent in me providing that money the guy so happily accepted.

    So, er, bugger off.

    Ah, now it comes time to paint the door. Excuse me. Paint *my* door. What the hell? There's some "anti-stick" teflon coating on my door?

    It's illegal for me to remove this stuff? Isn't it mine?

    I'm supposed to buy a new door, whole new color? But I already own a door, and the paint on that door. Isn't it all mine?

    If I remove the surface, I go to jail?

    If someone removes *my* Teflon (I may not want it, but I sure got it -- sort of like excessive packaging) and paint *my* door the color *I* want it, *I've* got a cellmate?

    Now how exactly is this door mine?

    And if I don't really own the door, do they really own the money I paid for it with?

    I bet if I move, I have to burn the door down and leave the next owner to buy one of their own...

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
    http://www.doxpara.com
    • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:23AM (#5094443)

      It's illegal for me to remove this stuff? Isn't it mine?

      Legislators aren't above telling you what you can do with the stuff you think you own. All you have to do is convince them that there are negative effects to the public at large if you're allowed to do what you want with your own property. In theory, I can go along with this. But where do you draw the line? Where do things get silly?

      Let me give you three examples:

      Example one:

      In the west, "land use" and "property rights" fights have been going on for decades. "How dare the damn new world order guvment tell me I can't do what I want with my own land! I own it! That gives me the absolute God-given right to stripmine it to the center of the earth and fill the hole with toxic waste if want to, by gum!" I've known ranchers who hold views this extreme. I've known ranchers who literally plowed up access roads on their property because the state passed a law saying that through-roads (roads connecting one publicly accessible road to another) had to be publicly accessible.

      Example two:

      In your own house, I'm willing to bet you have more than one cleaner with a label that reads "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling" or words to that effect. So here's a couple of household cleaning tips: #1 - The best bathtub cleaner in the world is to take liquid drain opener and brush it on all the surfaces then sprinkle it with a scouring powder that will form a sort of paste and hold the liquid in place. Let it sit for an hour (with windows open and good ventilation) then come back and scrub. You'd be amazed at some of the greasy, stained, crudded-up salvaged tubs and sinks I've rescued with this method. Tip #2 - This method is illegal. Consider that and consult your conscience before employing it.

      Example three:

      The New Jersey state legislature has proposed legislation designed to make repairing firearms so ridiculously burdensome that no one will do it. Check out this link.s [cnsnews.com] What that means is that if the extractor (a $5, easily-replaceable part) on the 1911 Colt left to you by your grandfather breaks, you have to fill out forms and turn the gun over to the state police for examination (with no guarantee written into the law that they'll ever have to give it back to you) and jump through all sorts of other hoops to get the thing fixed in-state. Or just break the law, fix it yourself, and risk a $10,000 fine and 18 months in jail. What's that, you say? It's yours? It's legal to own? You think you should be able to repair stuff you own without going, hat-in-hand to the state police for permission and procedures? Not if enough legislators can be convinced that the public has an legitimate interest in what you do with your own private stuff.

      Where I live, it's de facto illegal for me to paint my garage door without approval of a quasi-governmental committee. (It's called a "home owners association" and where I live, the state grants it major power over my life and property. YMMV.)

      So your example of, basically, "Why shouldn't I be allowed to do what I want with my own property?" doesn't really hold water. Governments make rules that often forbid it. Men and women with badges and guns enforce those rules. Individuals enter into contracts that encumber them with silly rules because life is darn near impossible to get through otherwise if you live near other human beings.

      So where do you draw the line? Do you refuse to have a credit card out of high-minded principle and a practical concern for your own privacy and then make an inconsiderate ass out of yourself, causing problems for those around you [tuxedo.org] just so you can say you adhere to your principles? Do you become a hermit, squatting in a shack in the forest? Or do you do as I have done - figure out where you draw the line (I disagree with the ranchers in example 1 and the legislators in example 3, but will take my chances by continuing to violate the law as in example 2) and accept that life involves compromises and that it's really OK for the government to tell me I can't do certain things even if I wish they'd just leave me alone?

      It's a tough lot of thinking you're getting yourself into when you decide to be aware of what's going on around you, when you lose your innocence of the greed that underlies so much of our rules of personal, professional, and business interaction. Sometimes I wish I had never started down that path.

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @09:56AM (#5093810) Journal
    What does this tell of the lifestyle of /.-ers? :-)

    Hmm... Anyway, I think I got the message, thanks for your comparisons. :-)

    I wouldn't be surprised... [slashdot.org]
    If universal tv remote manufacturers are next on the list to be hit by the DMCA

    Universal Remotes [slashdot.org]
    Well I guess Universal remotes are next.

    This sux ..... [slashdot.org]
    ..ass bigntime. What is next? Universal TV remotes?

    Is the DMCA retroactive? [slashdot.org]
    -snip- I guess the next thing on the list is el-cheapo TV remotes being removed from the market

    What's next? [slashdot.org]
    Banning universal TV remote controls?

    Does this make my palm pilot illegial? [slashdot.org]
    I can use my palm pilot as a TV remote, is this illegial too now?
  • DMCA 80's style (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ryber (209932) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:09AM (#5093926) Homepage
    I wonder....what if the DMCA had existed in the 80's...could IBM have successfully sued compaq for backward engineering the PC's ROM? Could Apple have stoped microsoft from releasing windows? we might live in a vastly different world. Clones would never have been made...maybe Amiga, Atari and TI would still be making microcomputers!

    And what does this mean for my darth maul tie-fighter univeral TV remote?

  • And people laughed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eaddict (148006) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:10AM (#5093933)
    when I suggested this law might be used against a social engineer. I think companies are looking for ANY way to protect thier cash cows or to even make ANYTHING a cash cow.

    I can't wait until going through my office door right behind someone is an offense - since I didn't use my badge.

    -------------------
    "Don't let what you can't do stop you from what you can do." - unknown
  • by binaryDigit (557647) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:17AM (#5093976)
    OK I'm a bit confused, eveyone is saying that this is a DMCA case, but when I read the complaint, I don't see where DMCA is explicitly mentioned. I see three patent infringement complaints and one software copyright complaint (in the original complaint). Is the software copyright complaint the DMCA part (even though it mentions the copyright act of '76, or is the entire thing wrapped up under the auspices of the DMCA because of the intent of the offending device? (i.e. circumventing security measures)

    Because of the patent claims, couldn't this lawsuit have happened even with DMCA?

    If the patent complaints are found valid, isn't this a valid (from a non legal standpoint) action by Chamberlin? If so, then why is eveyone bitching about DMCA?
  • by mcdade (89483) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:50AM (#5094661)
    I hate to break it to the company that makes these things, but most theives don't have ultra high tech gadgets to get into people garages. They do it the old fashion way. Bust in the side door or window, then press the button inside. Or they break into the car (lots of times unlocked) that's sitting in the driveway and use the remote from the car.

    Rolling codes just make sure that your neighbour with the same garage door system (which is everyone in surburbia) doesn't open your door when he comes home and wants to park in the garage. There are only 2 (yes, that is 2) garage door manufactures in the US, and I beleive that Chamberlain makes about 80% of the units (rebranded under other names like Sears) so there is a higher then 50% chance all your neighbors have the same/simlar units from the same manufacturer.
  • by phriedom (561200) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @08:00PM (#5098710)
    I read 80 posts and no one has grasped the one legitimate complaint that I see. The use of the Skylink universal remote stops the code from rolling, reducing the security, without informing the buyer, and potentially tarnishing the image of the Rolling Code Security System, because the Skylink remote uses the same codes every time.

    All the patent infringement claims, and the DMCA claim look bogus to my untrained eye, but Skylink IS doing something wrong: they are not telling the customer the entire truth. IMHO, the best result would be for the courts to force Skylink to tell customers that their products disable the Rolling Code Security System in order to interoperate.

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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