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Re: [dvd-discuss] Bunner wins DeCSS trade secret appeal

Seth David Schoen  wrote:
>Bryan Taylor writes:
>since it was
>> widely distributed in object code form, which it was possible to reverse
>> engineer. The ourt concluded that distribution in object code form alone did
>> not negate trade secret protection because of the great difficulty in
>> useful source code by reverse engineering the object code version. The court
>> granted a preliminary injunction, based upon testimony that it would have been
>> virtually impossible to have created the competing software, based solely on
>> reverse engineering Plaintiff's software.
>I doubt anybody here would like that decision, [...]

I don't know.  If you start from the assumption that reverse-engineering
object card is hugely difficult, it's not clear that the legal reasoning
is unreasonable.

And it seems to me that the difficulty of reverse-engineering is a
factual matter that can be measured by specific tests: for instance,
testimony that it took only five or ten hours to reverse-engineer
the cryptographic mechanisms in Netscape Navigator 1.2, or X hours to
reverse-engineer CSS from publicly available DVD players.