Windows 2000 source code has been leaked
wine-devel at shemesh.biz
Sat Feb 14 03:32:05 CST 2004
Viktor Nilsson wrote:
> On 2004-02-13, at 18.02, Shachar Shemesh wrote:
>> juergen.schmied at debitel.net wrote:
>> Use common sense.
>> The intelectual property law governing this case is the trade secret
>> law. It says that the information is illegal to use if the recipient
>> knows, or should have known, that it originated with illegally
>> distributed trade secret.
> Well, if you read through the code, to understand it, but you not even
> try to imitate or copy it. Just write brand new code, that does the
> same thing but in a slightly other way?
What you are saying is applicable to copyright law. I.e. - if you
reverse engineer the code (say, by disassembling it). If that's what you
did on LEGALLY OBTAINED CODE, then you are probably ok. The reverse
engineering itself needs to be legal where you do it, but that is still
possible. For example, in Israel, as far as I have found out, it is
still legal to rev-eng the code.
This original MS source code, on the other hand, is covered by trade
secret laws, which are far stricter. Putting it bluntly - if you touch
it knowing where it came from, or even unknowingly but ignoring common
sense warnings that this is an illegally leaked version, you can
probably not work on Wine again. The thing that is protected is not the
expression (the code itself), as with copyright, but the ideas, which
are deemed secret unless uncovered LAWFULLY.
Please, guys. Let's take this issue seriously.
Lingnu Open Systems Consulting
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