The Hacker’s Amendment


Congress shall pass no law limiting the rights of persons to manipulate, operate, or otherwise utilize as they see fit any of their possessions or effects, nor the sale or trade of tools to be used for such purposes.

From Artraze commenting on this Slashdot story about the levels of DRM in Windows 7.

I think it maybe needs some qualification about not using your things to cause harm to other people, but it’s an interesting idea. See also Mister Jalopy’s Maker’s Bill of Rights from Make magazine a couple of years ago.


  1. cb

    First, the quote: “manipulate, operate, or otherwise utilize as they see fit”

    Either “utilize” is assumed to exclude transfer of propery or we are to assume that this amendment would negate restrictions on property transfer such as is embodied by regulations on home-made beer.

    Of course, even ignoring the fact that this is redundant in light of property rights and contract law as it is, it’s obvious that the form of this is intentionally misleading. This isn’t a boost to property rights, this is a restriction of property rights.

    Licenses and contracts are involved here, not criminal law.

  2. That’s awesome, human ingenuity is what makes people so special. Telling people they can’t modify their own possessions would just be foolish.

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