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Re: How long is it acceptable to leave *undistributable* files in

Joe Moore wrote:
> Michael Poole wrote:
>>See also http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.html, which remarks both
>>that the whole of the derivative work must represent an original work
>>of authorship, rather than an arrangement of distinct works, and that
>>mechanical (non-creative, ergo non-copyrightable) transformation of the
>>original does not make a derivative.
> Doesn't this mean that the compiled (in the computer sense) binary is not a
> derivative work of the source?  (mechanical transformation from C code to
> ELF executable does not make a derivative?)
> That's an interpretation of law that seems a bit too extreme to be
> reasonable.
> It would (if correct) make a lot of current copyright infringement (or as it
> is sometimes called "software piracy") legitimate.  Since I'm not
> distributing the source code (which is the original work of authorship),
> just a mechanical transformation of it (ergo non-copyrightable), giving
> MSOffice.exe to all my friends is not a copyright violation?????

Indeed.  For that matter, disassemblers perform mechanical translations,
so if the disassembled code were not a derived work of the executable,
that would greatly aid most reverse-engineering efforts.

- Josh Triplett

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