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Reverse engineering for future compatibility

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1 Author(s)
Stern, Richard H. ; Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, Arlington, VA, USA

Two recent federal appellate decisions, one involving Nintendo and Atari, the other involving Sega and Accolade, are discussed. In both cases, the appeals courts endorsed reverse engineering in principle, where it was necessary to gain access to the ideas of a copyrighted computer program or was otherwise supported by a legitimate purpose. But just what purposes will legitimize reverse engineering under copyright law remains murky, once one goes beyond the factual context of the specific cases before both courts-a lock-and-key security system (interface) designed to keep unauthorized software out of a hardware platform.<>

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 4 )