On Mon, Jan 31, 2000 at 08:33:12PM +0000, Raymond A Kelly wrote:
> kevin lyda wrote:
> > http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/01/31/johansen.interview.idg/index.html>> although the whole developement area is something with which ATM I have
> minimal involvment, I'd imagine the reverse engineering aspect is being
> "tagged" by virtue of the fact that the open source community actually
> admits to doing it, whereas in a closed src environment nobody except
> those directly involved have half a clue as to _exactly_ how much
> (reverse engineering) is going on, despite the licence for pratically
> every piece of software sold declaring that it is illegal to
> decompile/reverse engineer said product.
Nit: My EULA for Win 95 states "You may not reverse engineer, decompile,
or disassemble the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, except and only to the extent that
such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding
In the US, case law allows for reverse engineering for the purpose of
interoperability, but not cloning. I believe the law is more lenient
in some other jurisdictions.
In other words, I've just bought FrobWord and is crashes on my
Win9x machine. The crash is too rare for FrobCorp or Microsoft
to look into fixing. So, out comes my SoftICE debugger and I start
decompiling and reverse engineering to get FrobWord to work. It
turns out to be a bug in the firmware in the hard disk. I get
a firmware update disk. This doesn't fix it, so I decompile the
firmware. I find the bug, hack a work-around as a Win9x device
driver and all is well.
Decompiling it to copy it is not legal.
In the DVD case, these guys want Linux to interoperate with a
piece of hardware. So that should be legal.
> I can provide some gems
> (off-list) to anybody who wants about dealings with Project managers &
> IT directors in other companies who have had, shall we say "issues" with
> a Linux + sendmail mail server on my end :)
Sounds like some entertainment to be had :-)
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