Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: The superior Rybka chess knowledge

Author: Rolf Tueschen

Date: 11:44:38 01/22/06

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On January 22, 2006 at 11:17:20, Frank Wies wrote:

>Reverse engineering is not illegal. There are firms in the US that reverse
>engineer EVERY semiconductor device and software product that is produced,
>including old designs with new features like Pentium and Athlon. They are paid
>by companies like Intel, AMD and Microsoft to name a few.
>What is illegal is using that knowledge to bring out directly or indirectly
>competitive products that substantially use the same code or structures to
>execute the same or similar functions and the original code. If you have ever
>wondered why the big companies are obsessed with patents it is because
>occasionally they violate these rules and when they are caught and a lawsuit is
>filed, the usual outcome is that they countersue and it is settled out of court
>by cash and trading patents by each party. Every one of these large companies
>has a project or two that is in the gray area!
>I was personally involved with a company whose CEO went to state prison in CA.
>He ended up in San Quentin. The CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, TJ Rodgers saw the
>EXACT same code in the new CAD tool that this company was selling and sent a
>note to the CEO of Cadence Design Systems who prosecuted this guy without mercy!
>The only way to get around this law is to produce a competitive product in a
>"cleanroom" environment and write code from scratch, that does not have any of
>the above noted violations. This happens all the time in the semiconductor
>business but it requires very careful documentation in order to prevent an
>extended stay in the local state prison.
>Dr. Hyatt's post is correct, and based on the competitive nature of man, I don't
>think that it is unethical to study Rybka for any purpose. This process is
>leading to better, faster and more intelligent chess engines and players.

Thanks very much for your input. From a real expert. I'm looking forward to
future contributions from your side. Thanks again.

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