[development] Modules that integrate non-GPL PHP apps violatethe GPL.

Hunter C hunterc at gmail.com
Mon Sep 3 18:33:06 UTC 2007

US copyright law does not ignore the need for reverse engineering in these
circumstances (i.e., for compatibility purposes)...

Title 17, Section 1201 of the US code says, in part ..

*(f) Reverse Engineering.  ... a person who has lawfully obtained the right
to use a copy of a computer program may circumvent a technological measure
that effectively controls access to a particular portion of that program for
the sole purpose of identifying and analyzing those elements of the program
that are necessary to achieve interoperability of an independently created
computer program with other programs, and that have not previously been
readily available to the person engaging in the circumvention, to the extent
any such acts of identification and analysis do not constitute infringement
under this title. *

Heavy on legalese, but you get the idea.

On 9/3/07, FGM <fgm at osinet.fr> wrote:
> One thing you need to keep in mind is the explicit allowance of reverse
> engineering by law within the EU member states, transposing an EU
> directive,
> which AFAIK does not an equivalent in the USA, where reverse engineering
> can
> land you in deep trouble.
> The case you mention could fall under this legal situation.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <ttw+drupal at cobbled.net>
> To: <development at drupal.org>
> Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 1:05 PM
> Subject: Re: [development] Modules that integrate non-GPL PHP apps
> violatethe GPL.
> > On 02.09-15:47, Jeff Eaton wrote:
> > [ ... ]
> > what still confuses me, however, is that i recall a law suit with one
> > of the larger software companies about 10 years ago where they sued
> > a smaller company for reverse engineering their code to write compatible
> > software.  the case was lost (as i recall) on the basis that once you
> > had purchased something you were entitled to use it to access your
> > data (which you still had ownership over) in whatever manner you chose
> > (including reverse engineering and interfacing with those components
> > to better access your information).  [...]
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