"Reverse engineering -- the process of independently figuring
out how something works -- is legal. ... That doesn't mean a
hardware manufacturer has to like it when its product is reverse
engineered. But legally, there's not a whole lot they can do about
it. Of course, that's not going to stop Digital
Convergence from trying. What's disturbing, however, is the
way they're going about it."
"The company modified the language of the CueCat's license
agreement after the onset of the controversy. The text of the
agreement now asserts that the CueCat "is only on loan to you from
Digital Convergence and may be recalled at any time." It implies
that such a recall might be initiated any time the device is used
in a way in which Digital Convergence doesn't approve."
"But Digital Convergence is trying to extend the terms of its
license agreement, the type of agreement that's often used in the
software industry, to include their freely distributed hardware. By
installing the hardware, they claim, you agree to the license --
and so, waive your right to use the CueCat for purposes they
haven't approved. If Digital Convergence succeeds, it could create
a dangerous precedent for consumers. Imagine owning a telephone but
being told you could only use certain long-distance carriers, and
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