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    SubjectRe: Reverse engineering (was ...UDI...)


    On Sat, 10 Oct 1998, John Alvord wrote:

    > On Fri, 9 Oct 1998, Kenneth Albanowski wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > [There have been several statements along these lines. Here's just one of
    > > them:]
    > >
    > > On Fri, 9 Oct 1998, Ely Wilson wrote:
    > >
    > > > Does this mean that you in Europe could disassembler a binary, then modify
    > > > it so it reatins it's general function, email it to us americans modified
    > > > thus saving us the desparity of being prosecuted :) i think so.
    > > >
    > > > Also, federal laws protect patent/copyright. It is *NOT* forbidden to
    > > > dissassemble a source. Take a system BIOS for instance, to replicate a
    > > > BIOS you would do (and it HAS been done) a complete dissassemble, then
    > > > write down EVERYTHING it does, BUT NO CODE (yes I am leaving out details)
    > >
    > > With respect, this was ages ago. (Compaq). A lot of water has passed under
    > > that bridge, and some more recent decisions have occurred that complicate
    > > matters. At least, as a layman, I believe matters have been complicated
    > > enough that I don't trust myself to judge safely what the current
    > > situation is -- and I'd advise others not to. If no-one actually knows for
    > > certain, I'd suggest that the FSF, or Redhat, or one of the other groups
    > > should retain council, pay a lawyer to try and determine the actual
    > > current status of reverse engineering in the US -- and then write this up
    > > for everyone's use.
    > >
    > > (My rationale? The Stac vs. Microsoft decision. As I understood it, this
    > > determined that Stac misappropriated Microsoft's trade secrets by reverse
    > > engineering Microsoft's code. I don't understand this. Moreover, it is
    > > effectively a nonsense statement, according to my understanding of the
    > > definition of "trade secrets". Hence, I'm not going to trust anyone but a
    > > lawyer to determine what this actually means -- if anything.)
    >
    > Small correction: STAC won over Microsoft, Microsoft had to remove
    > doubledisk support, Microsoft had to pay several million US dollars in
    > compensation.
    >

    This was the original suit. Afterwards Microsoft filed a countersuit,
    which MS won. (but got less money). This countersuit is what Kenneth
    was refering to.

    Volodya Dergachev

    > Of course the legal conclusion could be the same either way.
    >
    > john alvord
    >
    >
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