Chris Wilson wrote, quoting Mirek Fidler:
>> Hehe, it sounds like a good oportunity for small utility that converts
>> header files into native language :) :)
>> Would THAT be correct? (Such a thing could be really useful for Mingw,
>> REACTOS and WINE :)
> If this is useful, I would be very happy to do so. I don't think I will
> ever be submitting a patch to MinGW (GCC is way too complex for me) and
> I think it could be a very useful way to contribute to the project, if
> it will be acceptable.
Not sure I understand what the perceived benefit of that might be.
> I think that reverse engineering is allowed where I live (UK) so it
> would not be illegal for me to do so,...
You should seek the advice of a qualified solicitor, before leaping to
that conclusion. The subject of reverse engineering was discussed in a
recent issue of the UK's `Linux Format' publication, the article having
been written by just such an individual. From the layman's perspective,
my understanding of the current UK legislation is that:--
- Yes, reverse engineering is permitted, under a `fair use' clause which
*must* apply in all software licensing contracts ratified at point of
sale in the UK; (i.e. Microsoft cannot apply provisions of US law to
any EULA relating to products sold in the UK).
- `Fair use' restricts the circumstances under which reverse engineering
may be considered legal, to the *specific* case of obtaining
about a legitimately licensed product, for the purpose of making
legitimately licensed product interoperate.
- The information obtained by such `fair use' reverse engineering remains
restricted you your private use; you certainly cannot use it...
> ...and to publish the results in the public domain.
That would exceed the limitations on `fair use'; if you do this, you are
breaking the law.
Reverse engineering, even in the UK, to achieve interoperability of MinGW
with Microsoft API's is a grey area, (which is why you need to seek the
services of a professional legal expert). While the information you seek
is necessary for interoperability, incorporating it into public domain
MinGW headers, which is tantamount to publishing in the public domain,
may stretch beyond the bounds of legal `fair use'.