[Textures] Textures as phoenix?

Paul J. Campbell campbell at beloit.edu
Wed May 8 13:17:15 EDT 2013

Reinhard and other Textures users,

Let us suppose that Textures 2.19 (Retina and 
non-Retina versions) can be altered to run 
without checking for an installation key. (I 
assure you, it can be done. In light of info 
below, let me express that I have no intention of 
doing so.)

The U.S. Digitial Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 
makes bypassing digital rights management (DRM) 
of a program a criminal act, even if you do not 
intend to distribute the modified work. Similar 
laws may apply in other countries under treaties 
of the World Intellectual Property Organization 

There are various exceptions ("safe harbors") 
cited in the U.S. law (e.g., reverse engineering 
for enabling interoperability of an independently 
written program). None of these, nor the 
exceptions granted on 3-year terms by the Library 
of Congress, seem to apply directly to this 
situation. However, the law (17 U.S. Code § 1201 

(c) Other Rights, Etc., Not Affected.-(1) Nothing 
in this section shall affect rights, remedies, 
limitations, or defenses to copyright 
infringement, including fair use, under this 

At http://www.mttlr.org/volthirteen/loos.pdf on p. 606 we find the opinion:

"17 U.S.C. § 107 determines if a use is fair (as 
opposed to copyright infringement) based on the 
purpose and the character of the use, nature of 
the work, amount of the work copied, and effect 
on the market.48 Balancing these factors 
indicates that the copyright holder must suffer 
an actual harm before denying the fair use 
defense.49 However, the structure and wording of 
the DMCA seem to indicate that fair use must be 
pigeonholed into a safe harbor against the 
presumption that copyright holders control rights 
for any use of the work, especially if a "techno-
logical measure had been violated.""

It is certainly unclear who now holds the 
copyright to Textures---presumably Barry Smith's 
widow, assuming that as owner of Blue Sky TeX 
Systems LLC (copyright holder in 2012) he willed 
the business and all of its assets to her.

I am not a lawyer, but I would assert that it is 
fair use for licensed users of Textures 2.xx to 
reverse-engineer the program to avert Internet 
check for an installation key, and/or to use such 
a version, and/or to distribute such a version to 
other licensed users.


---Blue Sky has a warranty obligation  ("breach 
of an implied warranty of fitness for a 
particular purpose"): not adequately fulfilled, 
Barry Smith's widow (as president/former 
president and probable  heir to the company's 
assets) has expressed inability to fulfill in a 
timely fashion, and there has been no offer of 
refund of purchase price or other redress)

---licensed users are entitled to remedy and 
redress and otherwise suffer an injury, for which 
Blue Sky should be liable

---Blue Sky would suffer no actual harm (company 
is apparently defunct, though under what 
circumstances---e.g., creditors for possible debt 
owing---is unknown; and given the rise of TeXShop 
and TeXnicle, there is no market for future sales 
of Textures, hence only legacy users are served 
by such provision of fair use)

On the other hand, making other 
changes/improvements to upgrade the program 
(e.g., to adapt to changes in Mac OS) should need 
permission of the copyright holder, whoever that 
is now.

Let me know what you think. For the benefit of 
others whom this email does not reach, please 
post also to the Textures mailing list (see 

Best regards,



P.S. The Textures mailing list still exists:


To post a message to all the list members, send 
email to textures at email.esm.psu.edu.

However, lately I have not been receiving any 
messages from the list (even my own posts).

Curiously I now see threads (incl. my posts) at 

The Textures Archives (2007-2013) are at 

I do not know how many users subscribe to the 
list; I just wrote Gary Gray to ask.

I have sent this msg to the list.


Paul J. Campbell
Mathematics and Computer Science
Beloit College
700 College St.
Beloit, WI  53511-5595

ofc:    send email instead
fax:  (608) 363-2052
res:   (608) 362-2805

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