"BTW: I really like your idea about adaptations. So if I have a printer whose drivers don't allow me to do silly things, is it within my right to adapt them? Distribute the resulting code? For profit?"
It helps if you actually read the law. The provision I quoted applies to end users. It also prohibits distribution of those adaptations:
"it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make...another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided: (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine...or (2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful. (b)...Adaptations so prepared may be transferred only with the authorization of the copyright owner." (17 USC 117(a),(b))