The ethical thing to do at this stage in the game is to drop a dime on'em. The sensible thing to do is to ensure that you still have an income afterwards. Count on the boss finding out and retaliating; whether that is illegal or not, factor that into your plans.
provisions only pertain to circumventing technological measures that effectively control
access to a copyright work
That is precisely why replacing the boot PROM is illegal. Remember, the DMCA only talks about
circumventing technological measures (eg here), it doesn't require actually accessing the copyrighted work itself afterwards.
By replacing the PROM, you circumvent a technological measure that controls access to the TiVo code, regardless of your motives.
Not true. The boot PROM checksum dance does NOTHING to protect the TiVo code; it is intended to prevent anything EXCEPT the TiVo code from running. Bypass the checksum dance, and your TiVo will run the TiVo code exactly as before; thus, there's no "protection of a copyrighted work" being circumvented here. All that changes is that the (BTW, uncopyrightable) hardware will now run YOUR operating system of choice. Before tou argue that the checksum thingy protects the copyright on THAT code, let me point out that the "protection measure" is supposed to protect a specific copyrighted work, and cannot mean categorically locking out an entire class of works (i.e., everything EXCEPT code from a specific vendor). There's even a specific exception for compatibility, which this modification would fit into.
In this case, a German eco-thriller by Frank Schätzing entitled "Der Schwarm" (The Swarm), which features just such an attack, orchestrated by an intelligent marine species, (named the Yrr 'cause that randomly-typed letter sequence worked as well as any) that has decided to get rid of those messy, polluting land-dwellers, AKA us.
Next up: Swarms of highly-toxic white crabs invade the beaches of the US East Coast, while Canadian Orcas start dining on whale-watchers.
IANAL, nor a Constitutional scholar, but "any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding" appears on its face to refer to State constitutions and laws, not to the US Constitution. The law citations I've seen on various sites support this view. According to the Supreme Court in Reid v. Covert, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reid_v._Covert), "this Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty".
Sooo: No, Virginia, treaties cannot serve as an end-run around the Constitution. If I understand the citations correctly, a treaty has status coequal with Federal laws passed by Congress, so a treaty could, for example, supersede a Federal law such as the DMCA; however, it could not do anything (within the US) that Congress couldn't do by legislative means, like overruling an Amendment to the Constitution.
Matter transmission (transporters). I've no beef with using transporters as a plot device, and I see why it was attractive as a way to advance the plot in a 20-minute story line; what annoys me is the total neglect of the major impacts such a technology would have on society, even on such a controlled subculture as a Star Fleet. Given the wide availability of starships and matter transmitters, what do you suppose the inevitable criminal element in a society would think to do with them? Kidnapping, art theft, bank robbery, etc, etc. would be only a few of the impacts; obsoleting most forms of transport, and even such things as outside doors, would be another (at least, as imagined by a short story I read decades ago). However, the whole Trek universe acts as though transporters were merely a fancy elevator, a situation I find rather implausible, even within the fictional context of the Trek universe. (I still enjoy the stories, but a small corner of my being still groans at the glaring oversight.)
You are very probably right; unfortunately, Microsoft has already demonstrated complete willingness, in the OOXML fiasco, to subvert ECMA by every means available, from hiring shills off the street to pack public meetings, to stacking committees with single-issue proxies (who now no longer show up, so that the committees are hamstrung without a functioning quorum) to outright vote-rigging. I really don't think they'd give a dented spittoon for any commitments they signed off on to ECMA.
Except that SCO will shortly be run by a court-appointed Chapter 11 Trustee, most likely a lawyer or retired judge. There's very little chance such a one would go along with that sort of unethical, potentially unlawful, behavior. In fact, there's very little chance the trustee will elect to further pursue pointless and doomed litigation that simply dissipates the bankruptcy estate's remaining assets, either. Not being blinded by greed and mythical beelions of dollars, the trustee (appointed, don't forget, by a not-very-sympathetic Trustee's Office) will do the logical thing: settle both IBM and Novell cases as fast and cheaply as possible, preserve as much assets as possible, then -- seeing that Chapter 11 rehabilitation is impossible -- convert to Chapter 7 and sell off the office furniture for curios and the e-mail records to the highest bidder. (Actually, I'd expect IBM to demand custody of all corporate documents as part of any settlement offer...)
SCO is toast. Look for MS to employ a new and different cat's-paw now that this one has been run into the ground.
in his Lazarus Long series, IIRC. It was called "Delay Mail," and was intended for use by time-travellers; there was an office where one could leave messages to be delivered to a specified person (possibly one's younger self) on a specified date, possibly centuries in the future.
I'm afraid this constitutes prior art (insert clever time-travel remark here)...
IANAL, but the damages amount seems disproportionate to the offense. Does this raise any additional prospect of constitutional appeal for a disproportionate penalty? (Not that the attorney in this case would be capable of mounting such an appeal pro bono...)
If you take as a criteria for a "good standard for office documents" that it have a number of interoperable implementations and provides all generally-required functionality, ODF clearly meets that standard, MSOOXML as clearly fails it on lack of interoperable implementations.
Neither standard is perfect, and there are bugs in the various ODF implementations, but it's obviously usable, as it's being widely used. Not even MS Office actually uses OOXML as documented.
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.