[icq-devel] Is it leagal ?

Barnaby Gray bee at pickle.me.uk
Thu Feb 13 21:59:13 CET 2003

On Thu, Feb 13, 2003 at 10:44:40PM +0300, rad2k at mail.ru wrote:
> Knowing that a few developers got 'threatening letters/emails?' from 
> Mirabilis lawyers, I would give it a second thought.
> I believe whats illegal is to use their copyrighted names such as
> ICQ without their legal authorization.

The only legal threats from mirabilis so far have been in use of their
name (or close enough derivatives), this is fair enough - they have
every right to protect their branding from watering down.

> It should be algo considered illegal (i believe its specified in
> their agreement) to reverse their protocol without their authorization
> as well.

There are certain reverse engineering rights granted if they are in
the interests of inoperability (at least in the EU, not sure how this
plays with the DMCA, etc.. in the US). Since mirabilis don't provide
what I'd regard as a fully functional client for unix platforms I
believe reverse engineering is allowed for this purpose. I'm skeptical
as to whether a click-wrap license can even take this right away from


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