Clean room reverse engineering
forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Fri Dec 4 22:13:41 UTC 2009
Marc Whipple wrote:
> In any event, the concept of “reverse engineering” copyrighted material
> is nonsensical under US law (and the law of many other countries.) If
> you had enough access to it to reverse engineer it, you didn’t make a
> new work, you copied an old one. If your new work otherwise is
IANAL, but as I understand it there is a limited right to do white box
reverse engineering in the EEC. It is a lot more limited than is
generally assumed in open source circles, and would not extend to
reproducing internal behaviours.
As I understand it, the key points are:
- it must only be to the minimum degree necessary to interface with the
- the author of the software must have refused to provide that
information on reasonable terms;
- the knowledge you gain cannot be published.
Clean room is often used to refer to re-implementing something for which
the source code is actually available, or for black box reverse
engineering, where you examine the external behaviour of the software in
response to external inputs.
Most of the Gnu utilities for Unix are clean room products.
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.
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