Sega enterprise, Ltd. v. Accolade, Inc., 977 F.2d 1510 (1992) p.657
fair use doctrine
Accolade reverse engineered Sega's product in order to discover the requirements for compatibility with the Genesis console. Accolade transformed the machine readable object code into human readable source code.
District Court rejected Accolade;s contention that the intermediate copying of computer code does not constitute infringement. The district court enjoined Accolade from dissasembling, using or modifying Sega's code, developing and selling Genisis compatible games.
Whether the Copyright Act permits persons who are neither copyright holders not licensees to disassemble a copyrighted computer program in order to gain an understanding of the unprotected functional elements of the program.
When a program is decompiled for a legitimate reason and has no other means of access to the unprotected elements, such dissasembly is as a matter of law a fair use of the copyrighted work.
Decompiling was a fair use.
Intermediate copying of computer object code may infringe the exclusive rights granted to the copygithe owner.
Fair use elements:
Factor four - look to what was used and the effect on the copyrighted work
Created on: Tuesday, October 26, 1999 at 18:56:33 (PDT)