[openbeos] Re: Using GPL-ed sources as the reference

  • From: Mat Hounsell <mat_geek@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 11:22:05 +1000 (EST)

Siarzhuk Zharski, et.al.

    The answer is "It Depends".

    To the best of my knowledge:
        (I have been following these issues in US, EU and Oz)

    It is legal to use _open_ code to determine _open_ _protocols_ and to
implement a seperate and different set of code to support them.
    But it may not be legal to implement _closed_ _protocols_. 
        If you are in the US (Soon EU and Oz) then the company could claim the
protocols are copy protection and your work breaches the DMCA. You can settle
(pay lots) or risk losing a court case and going to jail (gaol).

    If you are in Oz (At the moment) it _is_ legal to reverse engineer _closed_
_protocols_ for inter-operation.

    If the code where under the LGPL you could implement yours as LGPL and that
would be legal.
    But you best option may be to ask for permission. Although, they may refuse
even though they legally can't.

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