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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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