A reader of my previous article “TrustedDWG Misconception” generally agreed to my views but pointed out that nothing is a right unless defined by rules and laws. I bet this person is a lawyer.
While this may be true with legal rights, I do not believe it holds true for moral and ethical rights, which are more important to me than legal rights. Moral rights and duties are absolute and cannot be easily twisted to suit oneself because the judge is one’s own conscience, not some third party judge or jury.
If you take this issue to a court, with a good legal team, maybe you will win. You may even get a judgement passed which forces developers not to insert any identifiers into your files. But what will happen after that? Developers will refuse to give you support for any file which they cannot determine came from their software. And why should they? Moreover, there will be no way you will be able to make them give you support, unless you go back to court with a better argument. If you win again then developers may refuse to license their software to you. After all they have the “legal” right to do that. Then what will you do? I know I may be taking this too far, but the point I am trying to make is that you cannot see everything from a legal point of view alone. You will only end up hurting yourself and making your lawyers richer. Remember every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
When we try to excercise our legal rights over others while ignoring our moral and ethical rights and duties, we are actually asking for trouble and trouble is exactly what we get.