Re: Best class decompiler?

Joshua Cranmer <Pidgeot18@verizon.invalid>
Mon, 05 Jul 2010 15:14:41 -0400
On 07/05/2010 02:14 PM, BGB / cr88192 wrote:

luckily, most code does not fall under DMCA, meaning it is only civil (in
which case the owning company is limited to lawsuits...).

Actually, I believe there is a prevision in the DMCA making attempting
to circumvent copyright a criminal offense. Under the 1976 copyright
act, pretty much everything in the U.S. is copyrighted (even the words
I'm writing right now!), which includes source code. So attempting to
recover copyrighted source code that you do not have the rights to would
be a criminal offense. Furthermore, distributing a program with the
intent of circumventing copyright is also criminal, so writing a
decompiler can certainly fall under this category.

Furthermore and even more unfortunately, the Supreme Court appears to
have backed off of its Betamax decision (which held that a device with
substantial noninfringing uses was still legal) when it heard the
Grokster case. Which lands the issue of whether or not a decompiler is
legal or not into a muddy gray cesspool in the U.S.

In retrospect, it seems to me that most of the legal situation of
software is in this murky gray "who knows" legal land.

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not
tried it. -- Donald E. Knuth

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