View Full Version : copyright/RCE in EU

May 7th, 2012, 05:20

it is nothing new, yet it is interesting that this principle has been affirmed again, at EU level now:


May 7th, 2012, 05:29
I was just posting this news but seen your post.

This is what I wrote in the arteam forum. Reporting it here just for completeness


This is an important news:


lately the EU sentenced that the copyright infringments only cover the programs as they were written by the author. So it's essentially forbitten to copy the source code but NOT to RCE in order to understand the inner working and therefore copy for the sake of compatibility among systems (under some circumstances, so if the reverser didn't copy a consistent part of the program's functionalities which are expression of the creativity and intellectual work of the author).

The Court of Justice evaluated that the copyright is not covering the idea and the base principles of the programs, but only the forms assumed by their expression (the source code and the product concept). This happens because in Europe the copyright law is different compared to US. While on the one hand the US legislation protects the informatic programs with patents (which cover the base innovation ideas), on the other hand in Europe the informatic programs are protected only with copyright, which covers the material elements of the program, therefore the source code and all those elements that are the expression of its authors creativity.

The sentence reports these two interestings sentences

"a person who has obtained a copy of a computer program under a licence is entitled, without the authorisation of the owner of the copyright in that program, to observe, study or test the functioning of that program in order to determine the ideas and principles which underlie any element of the program, in the case where that person carries out acts covered by that licence with a purpose that goes beyond the framework established by the licence.". Consequence: I can reverse anything that's licensed to me, even for example the trial programs which are licensed to me for the period of 30 days.
"the owner of the copyright in a computer program may not prevent, by relying on the licensing agreement, the person who has obtained that licence from determining the ideas and principles which underlie all the elements of that program in the case where that person carries out acts which that licence permits him to perform and the acts of loading and running necessary for the use of the computer program, and on condition that that person does not infringe the exclusive rights of the owner in that program". Consequence: the program licenses cannot really prevent me from reversing the programs

Indeed this in my opinion confirms the historic sentence of the legal dispute between Sega and Accolade which was won by Accolade for the same reasons: ensure compatibility among systems.

Anyway RCE is more free now.

What I am wondering is the impact on the protection mechamism dissections, which should be freely allowed according to this sentence


May 7th, 2012, 05:56
[Originally Posted by Shub-nigurrath;92487]
What I am wondering is the impact on the protection mechamism dissections, which should be freely allowed according to this sentence

hihi, i was wondering exactly the same thing.
However, I didnt read in full the sentence, so there might be some dark areas about the 'fair use' and 'interoperability issues' (<-- which was what the SEGA/Accolade sentence was about to).

hmmm take this sentence: "in the case where that person carries out acts which that licence permits him to perform". It means that if you are allowed to do something by license (execute a 3rd library, run a script, load a file), you can RCE those parts in order to ensure interoperability.

I doubt it allows you to do RCE of a protection, unless you want to co-operate with i.e. protection's CRC. I guess it would be a fair use, however, reversing a packer in order to 'hack' it to better support such packer's SDK, for example.

legal language... meh.