I just got some very angry hate mail from someone claiming that our complexity requirements are a violation of his freedoms because his password is copyrighted.

I’m convinced that some people believe words don’t mean anything, they’re just some strange magic runes you invoke like a spell to get your way.

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I mean, “my password is copyrighted, you have to let me use it”, what in the what.

@mhoye yeah that makes no sense. It's hilarious tho :bloblul:

@mhoye We just store a hash of the password, like a summary; that's fair use.

@mhoye I’ve become aware that all the 12-year olds in my kids class have a very strange notion about how copyright works and how it is applied. They indeed seem to think that “copyright” is some sort of magic rune.

@mhoye well, I mean, technically they’re correct. Any original, distinct content you produce is automatically covered under copyright in the US.

I think they would have a really hard time enforcing that a password manager is using the password for commercial gain, though.

“New! SecurePass3000, with lemony fresh aJ8=p’krC9¥k!”


Also, if your password is a known copy written phrase,

it’s probably not a very good password.

“When it’s time for a password change, think Spee-dee Password”

@jrconlin @mhoye time to change your password. Your new password must contain letters, numbers, special characters, and be registered at the local copyright office.

@mossop @mhoye

We regret to inform you that since your password violates trademark, we have turned over your account to the trademark holder. We thank you for using the easy online services of Bank of America.

@jrconlin @mossop I like the idea that if somebody accidentally picks the same password as you you can seize their account on copyright grounds. Password rotation policies are like a lottery now!

@jrconlin @mhoye it's worse though. They aren't upset that someone is storing it or a digest of it, they think that having a copyright would mean that the site has to accept it. That's up there with "I have a copyright on this book, you HAVE to publish it!"

Nevermind that a password almost certainly doesn't get copyright protection ("too small to have rights attach" is a thing)

@mhoye could you post it, with relevant bits redacted? For science?

@simSalabim I really can’t. Even with bits cut or blurred out, I don’t feel ok doing that.

@mhoye fair enough! It's a pretty funny idea, even without the extra detail. It seems like this person thinks that a copyright allows them to compel (their own?) speech, if you could even call a password speech.

There are 2 types of free people, my friend — those who can create and use any password, and those who don't have to accept it.
No freedom was violated.

@mhoye that is exactly how lots of people think of the law, which is why sovereign citizens think they won't have to pay taxes if they just mash together the right combination of jargon

@jalefkowit “you can’t arrest me, officer, because as long as my head remains in this toilet I am subject only to maritime law.”

@jalefkowit @mhoye politicians and police being the prime examples of course, but unlike most other people, they get away with it.

@mhoye My observation is that stances like this are more common in the (free?) software space than in the non-techie world.

Perhaps software people are so used to writing their own rules that they don’t recognize where those powers end?

@mhoye wait, if it's a US government website then are password requirements a violation of the first amendment?

@mossop @mhoye if they were not letting you express your password at all maybe. But it's just like filling an official form: it's not a 1A issue to require that info on a form fit certain requirements.

@mhoye have you read anything about the “sovereign citizen” folks, cause they sound very much like that description!

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