I was under the impression that reverse engineering can mainly be legally prohibited in two ways: via copyright law forbidding the making of copies; and via an end-user licence agreement (EULA) specifically prohibiting reverse engineering.

I've come across a software licence that permits unlimited software copying (under certain conditions) & doesn't explicitly prohibit reverse engineering. I'm based in the UK, and thought that if UK law governed the agreement, that I would then be able to reverse engineer the software (under the certain conditions).

It just so happens that Californian law governs the licence so I'm slightly unsure as to whether I can legally reverse engineer the software.

Anyone have any answers on the overall question of this post?

  • My suggestion, go see a lawyer. However, beware that even a single lawyer may offer several opinions ;) – 0xC0000022L Jun 27 '19 at 20:35
  • It's not really a big enough deal to go to see a lawyer. Also, a general answer to this question is useful for a number of problems, including the problems of others. – Mark Fernandes Jun 28 '19 at 4:38
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    The tricky part here is that you'll hardly find a lawyer who is also a reverse engineer (here or elsewhere). A possible way would be to ask over on law.SE. But similar questions have been asked here via law and they typically end in opinion-based answers. – 0xC0000022L Jun 28 '19 at 8:01
  • @0xC0000022L -> I've already asked the question on the law SE. I don't mind opinion-based answers. They help give an idea on what the correct course of action should be. Even if you get professional legal counsel, the counsel can end-up being wrong although I suppose legal insurance can help mitigate the damage in such situations. – Mark Fernandes Jun 29 '19 at 11:38

You should check the EFF's FAQ on RE

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