[Mono-devel-list] (Il)legal code check-ins

Paolo Molaro lupus at ximian.com
Thu Feb 5 09:35:34 EST 2004

On 02/04/04 Ben Maurer wrote:
> Testing how a progam works in different conditions is OK. The code in
> the MS.net implementation is copyrighted. So, the only restriction is
> that you may not copy the *TEXT* of the code (or disassembled code).
> Legally, it is ok to look at disassembled code, however we stay away

It is definitely NOT OK to look at the disassembly of code you didn't
write yourself, unless you have the explicit permission to do so.
For example, you didn't write mcs, but the mcs license allows you to
look at the generated code: that is not the case for the microsoft
assemblies. If you looked at the disassmbled code you most likely should
stay away from contributing to mono (though note is some countries
disassembling for interoperability reasons is allowed, it's better if
the person who does it doesn't directly write the code: he could write
a specification and publish that instead, unless other laws prohibit
that as well). There are a lot of gray and not so gray areas in the
legal issues and we should avoid all the situations which could bring
legal problems: one of these is looking at the disassembly of code from
the MS assemblies.

You can safely use the info you read in the documentation (provided you
don't copy the actual expression). You can look at the public interface
of an assembly and you can write tests to check the output from the
public interfaces.
You should definitely not look at the disassembly of code you're not
supposed to, unless you have consulted a lawyer and in any case, don't
contribute code to mono based on that: if it's allowed in your countrry,
write a specificauiion and let someone else implement the code.
You should also not contribute code you didn't write or code you took
from someone else if it's license is not compatible with the mono module
where it's being integrated.


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lupus at ximian.com                             Monkeys do it better

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