Is it legal?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Alberto, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Alberto

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 7, 2008
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    DELETED! End of my partecipation to AAC forum.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  2. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    If it were put to a vote, I would vote, "no." We should not be involved in helping to reverse-engineer what appears to be a medical imagining piece of equipment.

    As a bit of an aside, any medical equipment company worth its salt should have enough experts on board to do its own reverse engineering. At least that is the way it was in the 1980's with a very large American manufacturer I know.

    John
     
  3. blueroomelectronics

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    The poster in that forum has little chance of building an ultrasound imager at the rate he's going.
     
  4. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    You mean like the counterfeit chips we get from China? Caveat emptor.

    I still don't think we should help in the process.

    John
     
  5. thatoneguy

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    Feb 19, 2009
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    I agree. Last thing somebody needs to do is end up buying the equipment since it is all they can afford, and have it not work, or give them false results.
     
  6. JoeJester

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    I guess the moderators could close a thread at the first time "reverse engineering" rears it's ugly head.

    All that would do in ensure some people from outlining their project completely. Then it would be a guessing game.

    There were a few times that someone wanted to design a project "like" a commercially available product.
     
  7. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Having worked in the medical field myself for a couple years I can tell you 90% of everything is stolen from someone else that didn't have the money to make it. The rules and regulations to get something passed by the FDA and Medicare so that the gov will pay for the device is nothing. No testing! Just show us you have $400,000 in the bank and we'll approve you. Thats it. Believe me I though in the medical device field these guys would know their stuff and they don't. Some kid in india designs it and some kid in china makes it. Then some American with a assload of money buys it in bulk and gets it approved by the FDA, Medicare, etc... And can then sell that $8 device for $2000.
     
  8. t06afre

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    May 11, 2009
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    I can not see ant wrong in this. As it happened all the time in the electronic industry. It must also be up to the original manufacturer of this part to take some legal actions. It is not this forums task to baby-sit our members. And intervene then we think a member might do something, that might be wrong. All member in this forum is liable for their own actions. Some topics in this forum is closed. And I can accept this because it meant to protect the members from hurting themselves.
     
  9. jpanhalt

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    Learning how something works in principle so you can develop a better machine is not illegal per se. However, when it gets past a certain point as to infringe on protections or use illegal means (e.g., spies, code breaking), then the aggrieved companies and even government might get involved. The catch for this and other moderated forums is that moderators have been deemed to exercise editorial control. In short, they could become defendants in such lawsuits. At least, if they are in the USA.

    :confused: Protecting someone from himself is babysitting. Participating in actions by a person that hurt or damage another creates liability. You seem to accept babysitting, but not actions to protect moderators from liability.

    I do agree that participation by individuals in prohibited forms of reverse engineering is an individual decision. In the few instances when such actions were obvious (e.g., software stealing), our moderators were quick to act. I think the concern raised by Alberto is a legitimate one, and it is good to bring such concerns to everyone's attention.

    John
     
  10. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    It's a tricky one to tell. It depends if the features that are being copied are patented. They may well not be. It's quite likely that a lot of things our members ask about have some kind of patent on them.
     
  11. shortbus

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    It is not illegal to make something that is patented for yourself. It is illegal to make it and sell it as your own.
     
  12. maxpower097

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    Doesn't a patent only matter if your selling them or producing them?
     
  13. Kermit2

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    Feb 5, 2010
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    personal use is usually exempted from such laws. Try to sell it, or make one for someone else(even for free) and then you cross a legal line.

    Landmark case involving scramble satelitte signals. An individual built a decoder and used it to view the programming. Courts said THAT was okay, and an individual is free to use the signal however he wishes, if it is for personal, or household use. supplying it to others or selling or giving away the decoder would be against the law.

    Trouble here is 'how do you know' what an individual is going to do with his work. Keep it for personal use? then it would be ok. Use it any other way and it might break the laws. We can't tell from a written word forum, so prudence would suggest not allowing these subjects at all.

    :(
     
  14. jpanhalt

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    That is interesting. It is easy to see how a court might say it was OK to receive the signal. It is harder to see that decoding would not be an issue. Do you have the citation or even a link to where it is discussed? How long ago was that?

    Applying that same logic, an individual might receive and decode cell phone conversations. After all, the individual was simply receiving a signal on the airways and decoding it. Yet, that has been found to be illegal.

    John
     
  15. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Theft of service laws come to mind. The cable company is a great believer in them.

    If something comes up that is obvious on this site then I'd worry about it, but until then who cares?
     
  16. jpanhalt

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    Are you sure of that? Can you cite any support for what would amount to an expansion to patents of the fair use doctrine that applies to copyright?

    Such an expansion has been proposed (see: 2000 Columbia Law Review at http://www.jstor.org/pss/1123488), but I did not find any evidence that concept has been incorporated into law.

    Until then, it is safer to assume that fair use (and experimental use) doctrines do not apply. Of course, as in all discussions of patents, it is up to the patent holder to enforce its patent. Going after a small-time individual user may just not be economically feasible.

    John
     
  17. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    We had the first guy here in Tampa that made the first cable descramblers back in the 80's. He got by with it as a legal biz untill around 04. Then they arrested him and fined him 4 million dollars. But by that time the dude was worth like 50m so he quietly paid the 4m in fines and retired. Before he learned the cable hack he was just an installer. There was a great write up about him here locally a couple years back. But we have all kinds of landmark cases here. We just tried John Gotti Jr for rackateering. He was trying to muscle in on the Valet car biz trying to run a protection racket on them. Unfortunately no one told Gotti JR FL is spoken for with the mob. The same family has run FL for the past 90 years. So naturally he was in jail 3 days after he landed in Tampa. We also just busted some guys at the port making Cocaine subs for the Columbians and charging them $550k each. They busted the two guys but the biz had been running for 6 years so god knows how many subs they put into the water. Anyways somehow despite no drugs FL managed to find them guilty of something and threw em in jail. We also threw that porn guy max hardcore in jail for 4 years for obscene material. Even though it was hosted in CA since he sold memberships in FL he was arrested and extradited.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  18. shortbus

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    Sep 30, 2009
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    jpanhalt/John - this is something I was told years ago by someone that held many patents. He also said that what he did was to sell his patents as soon as possible to a corporation that had the money to fight infringement.
     
  19. t06afre

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    Then you create a patent. Your invention will be very public. But at the same you will have some protection for other to exploit your invention commercially. But you can not stop other people using your patent as a recipe to duplicate your patent, for say research purpose.
     
  20. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Patents are maps.

    Want to build ANYTHING? Look at the patent and there are step-by-step instructions.

    At least if you dont patent it, it makes the "thief" work harder.
     
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