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Re: Reverse engineering case law
> > I've a question for some of you real legal eagles out there....
> > Is there any case law regarding the reverse engineering of automotive motors?
> > How about electric motors, physical devices in general?
> In a word: patents.
This is not an answer to Jim's question.
Patents do not prevent reverse engineering. In short, the intent is to
make reverse engineering unnecessary through disclosure in order to
encourage further improvements. The patent system prevents (
theoretically ) others from using the knowledge directly without a
The copyright system is similar in that only the holder or licensees may
reproduce the material.
So Jim's question is a good one but in light of how the 1st is applied (
not ) in the digital realm, I wonder how far legislative pressure from
corporations trying to protect intellectual property will allow IP case
law from the physical realm to apply in the digital.
I think it is absurd for someone to say it is illegal to reverse
engineer or disassemble code - such a law cannot be enforced and is
somehow contrary to normal human curiosity. I think the assholes should
follow the money and prevent copyright violators from reselling what
If someone ( for example the motion picture industry ) wants to protect
their rights they should own some HW companies and develop some good
patented technology that let's them enforce their rights through
technology rather than draconian legislative threats.
It's about the same as the Cypherpunks theme that anonymity needs to be
created in such a way that any legislation intended to prevent it is
about as significant as a fart in a hurricane.
IOW, solve problems, don't create new ones.
My 2 cents.