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Re: Matlab File Format

From: Neil Davey
Subject: Re: Matlab File Format
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 18:58:17 +1000 (EST)

On Thu, 17 Jun 1999, Stefano Ghirlanda wrote:

> > > Some software licenses state explicitely that one cannot reverse-engineer
> > > the file formats an application uses. I don't know whether that is the
> > > case for MathLab. 
> >  
> > Here is the wording of a small section of the MathWorks software license
> > that comes with Matlab 5.1
> > 
> > "In relation to the Programs which licensee is entitled to use, Licensee
> > shall not decompile, disassemble or otherwise reverse engineer the
> > Programs expect with respect to European Union Licensees (etc etc)"
> Maybe the file format is not covered by this wording. Is a file that you
> save considered "part of the program"? The reverse-engineering is done
> on the file, although one coudl argue that by doing that you discover
> things about the program (the save routines). Any lawyers on the list?
> Stefano

I would think that as the datafile is output of the "program", then it
would be considered reverse-engineering... here is another section I just
found in the license:

"Except as expressly provided by this Agreement, Licensee may not alter or
modify the Programs without the consent of TMW. In particular, Licensse
may not alter, adapt, translate or convert "M-Files" contained in the
Programs in order to use those  files with any non-TMW software, nor may
the Licensee incorporate or use "M-Files" or any other part of the
Programs on ir as part of another computer program."

since the data file is an output of the program... you are indirectly
reverse-engineering the software to workout it's format.. thus I reckon
breaching the license agreement...

>  Stefano Ghirlanda, Zoologiska Institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
>     Office: D554, Arrheniusv. 14, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
> Phone: +46 8 164055, Fax: +46 8 167715, Email: address@hidden
>    Support Free Science, look at:

Neil Davey
Postgraduate Research Student
Radio Science Laboratory
School of Microelectronic Engineering
Griffith University, Nathan, QLD Australia 4111
Ph: 3875 5574
Mobile: 0414 662 110


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