Re: openbkweb-0.0

From: Adrian Bunk (
Date: Fri Feb 14 2003 - 15:28:48 EST

On Thu, Feb 13, 2003 at 02:05:23PM -0800, Larry McVoy wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 13, 2003 at 10:11:27PM +0100, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 13, 2003 at 08:13:37AM -0800, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > >...
> > > We'd view reverse engineering the protocol as falling under the "you're
> > > working on a competing implementation".
> > >...
> >
> > If a clause in a license forbids a licensee to use or decompile the
> > program to gather the information needed for independendly developed
> > programs to interoperate with this program current German copyright law
> > says that this clause is void in Germany. :-)
> Please show me the case law which says we have to give you our technology,

There is no case law in Germany.

I'm talking about the text written in paragraph 69g (2) of the German
"Gesetz ueber Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte

> for free, and we do not have the right to say "no way unless you agree to
> not reverse engineer".

German copyright law says that any clauses that forbid reverse
engineering for gathering data needed for independendly developed
programs to interoperate with this program are void. Full stop.

There's simply no legal possibility for you under current German
copyright law to allow anyone to use your program without allowing him
to reverse engineer your proprietary protocol.

> Lots of law says "if you paid for this product, the seller may not impose
> the following restrictions" with reverse engineering being amongst those.
> I do not have any data which says that the same law applies in the case of
> a no charge copy of the software, do you?

German copyright law talks about licensees, not about money. It doesn't
matter whether the licence was free or whether it costs a billion Euro.

If you don't believe me ask any lawyer who knows German copyright law.



"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days. "Only a promise," Lao Er said. Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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