OT: legal advice
I have founded a small game development company in Canada and we are just
ready to launch our first product (yay, now I can do some hurd hacking!).
But I've run into a small legal problem with the company we work and this is
the only free software list I am on. I hope somebody here can give me some
We use eSellerate (a division of Mindvision, an American company) for our
installation wizard. The reason we went with eSellerate is because it
allows users to very conveniently purchase and upgrade to the full version
from the demo. They can have the demo installed and then just click on a
purchase button, give their billing info, and then automatically
download/install the latest full version of the software. It works pretty
Unfortunately they only support Windows and Apple platforms, and I want to
port our game to GNU/Linux (hey, maybe I can even be the first game for the
It seems I have two choices: I can either just put our products on the
platforms they choose to support, or I can fill the void their chose to
leave and write a free piece of software that offers similar functionality
to their product.
Since they don't support GNU/Linux and seem to have no intention of
supporting it I had always assumed that I was going to be forced to write
something like that.
But today as I was about to sign the contract between our two companies I
came across a point that could really hurt me:
10.b) Each party agrees not to: (i) disassemble, decompile, reverse
engineer, or otherwise reduce to perceptible form the other's products, or
otherwise attempt to learn the source code, structure, algorithms or ideas
underlying any software; or (ii) take any action contrary to the applicable
end user license agreement except as allowed under this Agreement.
I don't want to decompile their software and I don't give a hoot about what
algorithms they used. But I don't want to write something to install our
product on GNU/Linux and have them coming back in three years (duration or
contract) and saying "hey, we thought of making it convinient to install
products first. You broke the contract because that is our an underlying
idea of our software"
Are there any lawyer types here who can tell me I don't need to worry or
should get that changed?
Jeff, you're in Vancouver right? Know any lawyers local affordable lawyers
that I should see?