Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sega v. Accolade case brief summary

Sega v. Accolade (Reverse Engineering)

D reversed engineered software to develop compatible software. It was undisputed that the D copied P’s code.

Issue: Was there fair use?

Yes: With 1 they said the use was intermediate, only intended to discover the functional and thus unprotected elements of the software. They took the functional information and produced their own software, so the court found this in their favor. With 2, court said to get to the idea of the functional (unprotected) portion, D had to copy protected expression of the functional portion. 3 was of little importance.

4: Accolade made their own games, which did not replace those made by Sega, and the benefit to consumers all weighed in D’s favor.

Essentially: Where disassembly is the only way to gain access to the ideas and functional elements embodied in a copyrighted software program, and where there is a legitimate reason for seeking such access, disassembly is fair use.

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