Fw: IEEE-USA News: IEEE-USA Brief Supports Reverse Engineering

Paul Rinaldo prinaldo at mindspring.com
Thu Feb 10 04:47:43 CST 2005


Isn't this what you thought all along?

Paul, W4RI

WASHINGTON (9 February 2005) -- IEEE-USA filed an amicus curiae brief on 24
January in support of reverse engineering for interoperability in the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in the case of Blizzard
Entertainment v. Internet Gateway (No. 04-3654).

IEEE-USA's "friend-of-the-court" brief seeks reversal of a September 2004
Federal District Court decision in favor of Blizzard, a computer game
company. The Court basically ruled that by opening the shrink wrap of a
software package, or clicking on a button during installation, the end user
gives up fair use rights, including reverse engineering, granted under
Section 107 of the Copyright Act.

Reverse engineering is a common and recognized practice, particularly in
computer software, and is extremely important to technological advancement.
IEEE-USA defines reverse engineering as the discovery by engineering
techniques of the underlying ideas and principles that govern how a
machine, computer program or other technological device works.

"Ultimately, the greatest benefits from reverse engineering are reaped by
the public at large," IEEE-USA's brief said. "The positive exploitation of
ideas expressed in copyrighted works ? over the past two decades is readily
apparent: advanced, competitive computer software industries have fueled
the explosive and enlightening development of the Internet as well as many
technology-based modern products."

According to IEEE-USA, by exploiting shrink-wrap and click-wrap agreements,
software publishers have attempted to use state-based contract law to trump
fair-use rights granted under federal law. The organization believes that
such agreements pose a danger to "the nation's intellectual property
system" and will chill innovation.

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the IEEE. It was created in 1973 to
advance the public good and promote the careers and public policy interests
of the more than 220,000 technology professionals who are U.S. members of
the IEEE. The IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society.
For more information, go to http://www.ieeeusa.org.

# # #

Contact: Chris McManes
Senior Public Relations Coordinator
Phone: + 1 202 785 0017, ext. 8356
E-Mail: c.mcmanes at ieee.org

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