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Date:      Fri, 24 Nov 2006 12:44:13 +0100
From:      "Christian Walther" <cptsalek@gmail.com>
To:        "perryh@pluto.rain.com" <perryh@pluto.rain.com>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Knowing if someone really stole someone else's code
Message-ID:  <14989d6e0611240344k3765e483iec8d01c5fafd6626@mail.gmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <4566b322./iYxBMPvlyC5aoZQ%perryh@pluto.rain.com>
References:  <cf5917110611232232o42aa03edpbf7fa3b084ddfdd0@mail.gmail.com> <14989d6e0611232356h12d8f85bwabc785b0e2909e35@mail.gmail.com> <4566b322./iYxBMPvlyC5aoZQ%perryh@pluto.rain.com>

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Okay, sorry for the misunderstanding. I got the point now.
Are there any lawyers on this list? ;-)

I don't know if there is a good answer in general to these questions.
I remember that there have been several law suits and allegations
against several software developers in the past. These where mainly
about companies violating the GPL (e.g. using open source code in
their own products without giving credits).
AFAIK during the trial discussiona where held if the accused used
techniques like reverse engineering to get a usable source code.
During the trial, the binary code might be analysed and compared
between both products in question. The use of a decompiler might even
produce source code that can be compared with the code in question, to
figure out if they are identical enough to be from one source.

To answer your questions: Yes, I'm pretty sure that the court would
ask you to show your own source code. Showing the "wrong" source is in
my opinion not an option, because different source generates different
binary code, so it'll be pretty obvious. So nobody will do a
benchmark, but "experts" will look at the code you provided, and
probably figure if it's the wrong one or even where it comes from.

Generally, source code will generate the corresponding binary code, so
if in doubt, you can compile it, and compare it with the binary code
in question.

Maybe you'll find some interesting bits on http://gpl-violations.org
Yes, its focus is on the GPL, but the people behind this website (and
a variety of law suits) use reverse engineering and decompilation to
figure out if the GPL has been violated.

To make matters worse I think it makes a difference where the claim
has been made/the law suit has been filed.

HTH
Christian



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