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Interfaces on Trial 2.0$
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Jonathan Band and Masanobu Katoh

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015004

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015004.001.0001

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Contractual Limitations on Reverse Engineering

Contractual Limitations on Reverse Engineering

(p.121) 4 Contractual Limitations on Reverse Engineering
Interfaces on Trial 2.0

Jonathan Band

Masanobu Katoh

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the enforceability of contractual restrictions on reverse engineering and considers the treatment of this issue in the context of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) in the U.S. It analyzes court decisions on court cases related to preemption and the enforceability of shrinkwrap licenses including Bowers v. Baystate Technologies and Davidson v. Jung. The analysis suggests that both the Constitution and the Copyright Act preempt enforcement of contractual restrictions on reverse engineering and that such terms in shrinkwrap licenses may not be enforceable under state contract law if users do not manifest their assent to the terms.

Keywords:   reverse engineering, UCITA, U.S., preemption, shrinkwrap licenses, Bowers v. Baystate Technologies, Davidson v. Jung, Constitution, Copyright Act, contractual restrictions

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