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Re: Debian-installer, older hardware, boot loaders, miboot & amiboot & ..

On Tue, Mar 30, 2004 at 03:38:27PM +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> > On Mon, Mar 29, 2004 at 11:53:49PM +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > > Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> > > > Worse case scenario, this could be clean-room reimplemented.
> > > Before doing that, somebody ought to approach Apple and ask explicit
> > > permission to reverse-engineer the boot-block code and distribute the
> > > reverse-engineered source under a free license.
> > You don't need permission to reverse-engineer anything.
> If the thing that is being reverse-engineered is covered by copyright,
> and the reverse-engineering follows it tightly enough that the result
> is a derivate of the original thing, then some kind of permission *is*
> needed.

I don't think your understanding of reverse-engineering is applicable in
the U.S.

A copyright is not a patent.  If you came by a functionally identical
result through independent means (and clean-room reverse-engineering
qualifies as such under U.S. court precedent), then you're free and
clear of copyright concerns.

G. Branden Robinson                |     It's not a matter of alienating
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     authors.  They have every right to
branden@debian.org                 |     license their software however we
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     like.  -- Craig Sanders

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