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Steve Dibb steve at
Wed Apr 6 14:40:37 MDT 2005

Josh Coates wrote:
> i read "open source zealots ripped off (ie. stole) bitkeeper by illegally
> reverse engineering it, which resulted in bitmover killing their free
> version of the product."

So, is it really illegal to reverse engineer something even if its a 
license agreement (non-signed contract)?

If so, then how were things like Samba, NTFS, and Wine ever created if 
most of Microsoft's EULAs have similiar "no reverse engineering" 
clauses?  Did they just never install / use Windows and accept their EULAs?

Based on the assumption that it's bad to reverse engineer something when 
they say you shouldn't and the OSS crowd does anyway, it seems like 
there's a LOT of software that we should be up in arms about.  Or does 
it only make a difference if something wasn't free in the first place?


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