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

If you publish something, it doesn't qualify for trade secret status
then.  If you copyright something, you've just published it - anybody can
walk into the copyright office and read it.  You can't apply for trade
secret protection on a book, etc., and it doesn't make sense to apply for
trade secret on software itself.  

  -- noah silva 

On Mon, 5 Nov 2001, Michael A Rolenz wrote:

> Jeme's right. The time or difficulty that it takes is really irrelevant-it 
> is a slippery slope. Reverse engineeering is allowed by law. Also, what 
> would be the point of reverse engineering if the onlything that was 
> allowed to be reverse engineered was trivial. (OH...boy they used bubble 
> sort....let me use something better)(BTW - the court can seal records to 
> protect 
> trade secrets) 
> But there is a more subtle point here. What is the 
> trade secret? Is how the code works the trade secret? The 
> DVDCCA would like to claim that it is. Microsoft for example would 
> like to claim that ALL of windows is a trade secret yet I'd bet 
> money that when I find a file, it's not doing anything other than 
> sting matching the directory table. WRT to software much of what seems be 
> getting put before the courts is the claim that the code itself is the 
> trade secret.
> Jeme A Brelin <jeme@brelin.net>
> Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
> 11/04/01 05:31 PM
> Please respond to dvd-discuss
>         To:     Openlaw DMCA Forum <dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
>         cc: 
>         Subject:        Re: [dvd-discuss] Bunner wins DeCSS trade secret appeal
> On 5 Nov 2001, David Wagner wrote:
> > 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.
> I absolutely disagree.  The court shouldn't concern itself with the degree
> of difficulty or the speed with which someone accomplished a supposedly
> difficult task.  This is an impediment to the gifted or skilled.
> > 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.
> The systems and technologies (state of the art) available at the time of
> the release of Netscape 1.2 (mid 1995) versus the state of the art in 1999
> when CSS was reverse-engineered.
> I don't see anything wrong with a person reverse-engineering something
> that is described as incredibly difficult in a very short time and
> claiming in court, "I can show it was reverse engineered, but it is a
> newly developed process that I maintain as a trade secret."
> Actually, how do such things pan out in court?  If someone has a secret
> process for doing something and it becomes the subject in a court case,
> how does one show the process to the court without revealing the secret to
> the competitor?
> J.
> -- 
>    -----------------
>      Jeme A Brelin
>     jeme@brelin.net
>    -----------------
>  [cc] counter-copyright
>  http://www.openlaw.org