[Wine] Re: Difference Between WINE and an Emulator
nlaw at nildram.co.uk
Sat Dec 9 04:49:06 CST 2006
James Hawkins wrote:
> On 12/8/06, Alan McKinnon <alan at linuxholdings.co.za> wrote:
>> On Friday 08 December 2006 13:48, Jens Gulden wrote:
>> > WINE is an operating-system running in user-space. It smashes the
>> > usual dichotomy "a piece of software is either an operating system or
>> > an application". WINE is _both_ an OS _and_ an application. At first
>> > sight a joke for computer-scientists, but probably the most ingenious
>> > idea in the history of software-development yet...
>> Not only that but it's also a truly astounding piece of
> Wine was not developed using reverse engineering...that would be illegal.
I don't thing the statement regarding reverse engineering being illegal
is strictly true, it depends on the circumstances, why your doing it,
what your doing it on and under which countries Law's your talking
about.. Quoted from Wikipedia which gives not only wine but also samba &
openoffice as examples. As I understand it reverse engineering is
considered fair use (as long as you don't copy the code or circumvent
restrictions) you just study it to determine how it works then implement
your representation. It also depends which continent your on. Here's a
nice explanation from a European patent & copyright company.
Strangely European law is stricter about reverse engineering than US Law
which I find surprising. You don't think Microsoft reverse engineer
(study somebody else products to try to figure out how they work) when
the need arises ?
"This process is sometimes termed /Reverse Code Engineering/ or RCE. As
an example, decompilation of binaries for the Java platform can be
accomplished using ArgoUML . One famous case of reverse engineering was
the first non-IBM implementation of BIOS which launched the historic PC
In the United States , the Digital Millennium Copyright Act exempts
from the circumvention ban some acts of reverse engineering aimed at
interoperability of file formats and protocols, but judges in key cases
have ignored this law, since it is acceptable to circumvent restrictions
for use, but not for access. Aside from restrictions on circumvention,
reverse engineering of software is protected in the U.S. by the fair use
exception in copyright law.
The Samba software, which allows systems that are not running Microsoft
Windows systems to share files with systems that are, is a classic
example of software reverse engineering, since the Samba project had to
reverse-engineer unpublished information about how Windows file sharing
worked, so that non-Windows computers could emulate it. The Wine project
does the same thing for the Windows API, and OpenOffice.org is one party
doing this for the Microsoft Office file formats."
More information about the wine-users