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Re: Managing competitor file format


2007-11-07 09:31:00 PM
delphi149
John writes:
Quote
I would like to know if there's a law problem if I can read
proprietary file from one of my competitor (I have got the file
format description by myself) in my software ?
Depends on your jurisdiction. There have been cases about reverse
engineering, and there are certainly license clauses that address that
issue, but I have no idea whether there is any case law on the subject.
--
Bill
 
 

Re: Managing competitor file format

Hi John:
At the end of the day, the information belongs to the final user, so he/she
will be able to use
as they want and with the tools their want.
Saludos
Sebas
"John" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>escribi?en el mensaje
Quote
Hello,

I would like to know if there's a law problem if I can read proprietary
file from one of my competitor (I have got the file format description by
myself) in my software ?

Thanks for your help

John
 

Re: Managing competitor file format

"John" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
Quote

I would like to know if there's a law problem if I can read proprietary
file from one of my competitor (I have got the file format description by
myself) in my software ?
A simple question: How did you get the file format? If that format is
legally public, then by definition, employing it to get at information that
is also legally authorized (your own or your customer's) should also be
fine. If the format was obtained by reverse-engineering or any other means
not sanctioned by the proprietary company, then using it would also not
likely be legal.
If the data involved is being "held for ransom" by said company, there is
good argument that the *data* is the legal property of that customer, not
the vendor, and so you can *probably* get away with extracting (rescuing)
the customer's data via any means you can. BUT that is a legal minefield and
in situations like this you *really* need to consult a lawyer (as you should
in any case if there is any doubt at all).
--
Wayne Niddery - Winwright, Inc. (www.winwright.ca)
 

Re: Managing competitor file format

That's a good question, how does this work for Open Office or iWork to be
able to read/write MS Office files? There's countless instances of competing
products having support for other file formats so I am guessing all the legal
work got sorted out in the 80s. The real kicker is how this could apply with
the DMCA. I should be able to reverse engineer the format for compatibility
but if its encrypted do the rules change as I could now be breaking
copywrite on the file format itself?
DD
 

Re: Managing competitor file format

Hello,
afaik in the EU there is some law which allows reverse engineering if
the original producer doesn't give you the information needed to make
your product compatible with his. But: ask a lawyer first, I can't
guarantee this statement of mine.
Greetings
Markus
 

Re: Managing competitor file format

If the format was obtained by reverse-engineering or any
Quote
other means not sanctioned by the proprietary company, then using it
would also not likely be legal.
The file format were get by anlalyse of different file format..provided
by one of the customer of this company that wanted our software to be
able to import all of his job done in the past...
 

Re: Managing competitor file format

Eug. C. writes:
Quote
Extracting data out of a file does not mean "reverse engineer".
It does if the file format is not publicly available.
--
Bill
 

Re: Managing competitor file format

Extracting data out of a file does not mean "reverse engineer".
We do extract data and import in our application from various file formats.
Go for it