Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: The superior Rybka chess knowledge

Author: Greg Simpson

Date: 07:56:53 01/22/06

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On January 22, 2006 at 09:26:17, Walter Faxon wrote:

>On January 22, 2006 at 00:18:52, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>On January 20, 2006 at 17:23:00, Uri Blass wrote:
>>>It is illegal to do it.
>>>I doubt if all of them do not respect the law.
>>You and others keep saying this.  But it is _not_ true.   Please cite any U.S.
>>or international law that specifically and explicitly makes this a criminal act.
>> "reverse-engineering" has been adjudicated as perfectly legal in both US and
>>international courts.  One can't "copy" the code due to copyright.  But one can
>>certainly read, study, and learn from it...
>No expert on the law but...
>(1) I don't know about the case of Rybka, but usually the terms of sale prohibit
>reverse-engineering.  So doing so is a tort if not a crime.
>(2) If you make a human-readable copy, that is a "derivative work" which is a
>violation of copyright.  Anything you thus "learn from it" and then use (or post
>about) is also derivative.
>(3) In the U.S. the DMCA prohibits use of methods to get unauthorized access to
>any copyrighted work.  Felony.  A disassembler used to help has been held by a
>court to be a "burglary tool".
>(4) Before the DMCA the only exceptions that U.S. courts have allowed regard the
>need for other programs to interface the subject program.  Rybka uses the
>standard UCI protocol and has no other interface requirements.
>Perhaps you ought to talk to your University's lawyer before posting on this
>subject again.

I'm pretty sure I never agreed to an EULA when I downloaded the Rybka beta, so
there would be no license violation.  Speaking of unethical, many people
consider licenses that prohibit reverse engineering or disassembly to be

As far as I know, the DCMA only applies if some means of protection is being
circumvented, and Rybka does not seem to have any.

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