Is it really hacking when you own it?
Good question. But an even better one would be "Do you actually own it?" Everybody seems to want to merely license
rather than sell you things these days. According to Apple and B&N I don't own my devices. I only own the physical artifact itself. Any functionality it provides (and the software that makes it happen) belongs to them. I just get to use it. According to them I'm contractually prohibited from loading any software but theirs on 'their' devices or loading it in any way other than through their app stores too.
A client of mine recently purchased a multifunction network copier/fax/scanner from one of the big names. It comes with a "feature key" hardware thingy which you have to insert and
register in order for the device to do anything. I guess they make one device and you get to decide what capabilities you want to to enable and pay for. From what I can see in the EULA, that key is non
-transferable. So you may sell your old machine to somebody else - but - it seems they'll need to make arrangements to buy their own key in order for it to function.
I'm hearing of a lot of that sort of thinking lately - although the law is still hazy about how acceptable that concept may be since it acts to restrict the original "owner" from participating in the used equipment market. It's a real problem. Especially since some high priced yoga pants manufacturer is requiring it's buyers to contractually agree not to resell any of their products as a condition of your purchase. (All done in the name of "protecting the unsuspecting buyer," preventing counterfeit products, and "maintaining quality and brand reputation," of course. Yeah, right!.
So what does it mean to own
something these days?