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    SubjectRe: Difficulties in interoperating with Windows
    On Wed, 9 Jan 2002 16:22:48 +0000 (GMT), "Alan Cox"
    <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk> wrote:> > for the purposes of interoperability
    surely that is final. As the> > contract would have been between
    Microsoft UK and you (note I'm only> > discussing the UK and we don't have
    an equivalent of the DMCA here)>
    > I would not perform such work in the united kingdom. Perform it in a
    free> country. Reverse engineering that might offend a large corporation
    in the UK> is only viable if you have five million pounds to hand, a law
    firm and a> year to kill.

    I still don't see why you'd need a lawyer. They could say all they want
    and hire all the lawyers they'd want...at the end of the day, could you
    just go to court and say:

    According to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended by the
    Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992 under section 50B, as
    detailed below:

    Decompilation.
    50B.(1) It is not an infringement of copyright for a lawful user of a
    copy of a computer program expressed in a low level language?
    (a) to convert it into a version expressed in a higher level
    language, or
    (b) incidentally in the course of so converting the program, to copy
    it,
    (that is, to "decompile" it), provided that the conditions in subsection
    (2) are met.

    (2) The conditions are that?
    (a) it is necessary to decompile the program to obtain the
    information necessary to create an independent program which can be
    operated with the program decompiled or with another program ("the
    permitted objective"); and
    (b) the information so obtained is not used for any purpose other
    than the permitted objective.

    (3) In particular, the conditions in subsection (2) are not met if
    the lawful user?
    (a) has readily available to him the information necessary to
    achieve the permitted objective;
    (b) does not confine the decompiling to such acts as are necessary
    to achieve the permitted objective;
    (c) supplies the information obtained by the decompiling to any
    person to whom it is not necessary to supply it in order to achieve the
    permitted objective; or
    (d) uses the information to create a program which is substantially
    similar in its expression to the program decompiled or to do any act
    restricted by copyright.

    (4) Where an act is permitted under this section, it is irrelevant
    whether or not there exists any term or condition in an agreement which
    purports to prohibit or restrict the act (such terms being, by virtue of
    section 296A, void).


    The law seems pretty damn clear on this issue (in fact Subsection 3.c
    sounds like I could quite happily send it to someone in the USA if they
    can do the work better than I).

    Again, just looking for thoughts...although I hope no-one else uses my i-a
    address ;-)

    Cheers,

    --
    Andy Jeffries | Scramdisk Linux Project
    http://www.scramdisklinux.org | Lead developer

    "testing? What's that? If it compiles, it is good, if it boots up
    it is perfect."
    --- Linus Torvalds
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