[OpenBIOS] New power-up graphics BIOS.

Leighton Haynes dayta at ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au
Mon Aug 20 14:17:02 CEST 2001

On Sun, Aug 19, 2001 at 09:01:06PM -0700, Chris Maresca wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Aug 2001, Gavin Robert Brewer wrote:
> > Matthew Sullivan wrote:
> > > 
> > > "Gavin R. Brewer" wrote:
> > > 
> > > > Anyone know how to reverse engineer AMI-BIOS for example?
> > > 
> > > What ever you do, _DO NOT_ reverse engineer the AMI BIOS....
> > > 
> > > This is a VERY BAD thing to do, you will be infringing all sorts of licenses and
> > > copyrights if you generate code mbased upon the AMI BIOS.
> > 
> > 
> > hmm...thanx for the warning, but it sounds rather like a certain letter
> > Bill Gates wrote to Homebrew Computer Club during the 70's.
> > 
> > Besides, who says someone can put a patent on algorithms? 
> Software patents are nothing new.  MS has a patent on SMB, that it could
> choose to enforce if it wanted to.  
> Matthew's advice is a very good call.  You will do the open source
> community a disfavor by actively trying to reverse engineer AMI BIOS.  
> And you will probably find yourself at the end of either an expensive
> lawsuit or some handcuffs.

Actually, while I will agree that reverse-engineering the AMI BIOS is
not a particularly useful exercise here, I disagree that it could result
in handcuffs (legally, at least ;)). Reverse engineering is perfectly legal
in most sane countrie (the USA, in no way represents a sane country).
Nevertheless, they can still doa  fair bit to make your life miserable if they
so choose, as evidenced in the deCSS case. 

> Get used to it.  In the US it's already a reality, and the EU is about to
> pass a set of laws formalizing the practice.  The best advice is to work
> independantly, don't reverse engineer, don't polute your code with
> information that 'fell of the back of a truck' and try not to call your
> software a similar name (aka. KIllustrator).

... then, if you could just fill out this 'thought' form in triplicate and wait
for approval before doing anything...
The US is just getting absurd, it's really quite sad that the EU is following 


#0421 113 305 - dayta at ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au
How do you expect?/I will know what to do./When all I know.
Is what you tell me to. - Linkin Park/By Myself

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