Python secure?

Grant Edwards grante at
Mon Aug 16 00:08:30 EDT 2004

On 2004-08-16, Istvan Albert <ialbert at> wrote:

>> I've read up a bit, and I looks like I was wrong.  The mere
>> act of creating a derived work is an infringement of
>> copyright. The derived work doesn't have to be distributed for
>> an infringment to have taken place.  Title 17 says
>>    (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
> Is a decompiled source code a 'derivate' work?
> I always felt that meaning of 'derivative' is creating a piece
> a work that is either very similar to or incorporates large
> sections of an other piece of work.
> The mere fact of using a binary file as the input to a program
> does not mean that the output of this program is a 'derivative
> work' of the binary file.


Under US law, a work translated into a different language is a
derived work.  That sounds like de-compiling to me. I don't see
anywhere where it says the translation can't be done by a
computer program.

If I take an 80x86 binary program I use under license from the
copyright holder and translate it into SPARC instructions
without the copyright holder's permission, can I copyright the
result as my own work?  Your argument seems to be that I can.

> I think the answer lies not in the copyright law but in the
> license that was set by the program owner. If they forbid
> decompilation that's their right to do so.

Perhaps that's true (in some jurisdictions), but we were
discussing copyright law.

Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  -- I have seen the
                                  at               FUN --

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