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RE: seaint Digest for 22 Apr 2001

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-William Keil [mailto:wjmkeil(--nospam--at)] wrote:
>----- Original Message -----
> RE: AISC II (the facts)According to the information AISC provided me, the
> answer is no, you can not recreate the data.

>Somebody please tell me this is not true!

Ok, I will.  YES, YOU can recreate the data for YOUR use IF YOU own the
books.  You can even pay someone else to do the copying, etc. as long as you
receive all of the data back and they don't retain a copy.

Basically it comes down to:  You bought the books and right/license to use
the information.  YOU can use that information in whatever form you choose.
As long as you don't transfer that specific information to someone else
(transfer=sell or give away).  You obviously have a right to sell any
derivative products based on that information.  (Or the entire industry
would be up a creek.)

This issue is one of the reasons the "Licensing Agreements" for software are
so complicated.  They have to define what you can and cannot do because the
basic law gives you very broad rights.  The licensing agreement is simply
trying to restrict those rights.  As long as you "agree" to the license
agreement, therefor, create a contract, you are bound by the conditions of
that contract.  Even if that contract restricts your rights.

If you read any of the "Licensing Agreements" with your software, (other
than being scared out of your wits) you will find a clause about "reverse
engineering".  Why is the clause there?  Because the basic law ALLOWS you to
reverse engineer something.  You can't make an exact copy, but you can
reverse engineer and make something that behaves the exact same way.  Hence,
EVERY contract/licensing agreement will not allow reverse engineering.  This
is not so critical in our field but it is absolutely critical in the
computer industry.  We could "reverse engineer" the tables and find some Q
factor which would simulate the "proprietary factors".  But as someone else
already noted, it's not worth the time and effort.

AISC could limit what the license allows you to do with the information but
I doubt it is in their best interests to do that.  

Mark Jones

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