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Old 08-08-2010, 09:43 AM
lkcl lkcl is offline
What's HL7?
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Default rubbish

it is not possible to prevent or prohibit reading and writing of data bytes which can be observed with the simplest of tools, and producing a parser which understands the information so observed.

this is the basic tenet of reverse-engineering.

around 1998, microsoft claimed that the SMB specification was "copyright" (which it isn't copyright MS, at all, it's actually copyright The Open Group). the extensions added by microsoft included some error messages. microsoft claimed copyright of those error messages.

so, andrew tridgell wrote some code which generated SMB error codes, starting at 0 and increasing by one in each network packet. he then captured the resultant traffic using Microsoft NETMON.EXE and dumped the results to a flat text file.

then, he wrote some code which parsed the output of NETMON.EXE, looking for the verbose description. the verbose description included the all-important string associated with the error code number.

by outputting that string along with the error code, he was able to bypass the stupid stupid attempt by microsoft to claim "copyright" over the error codes, because the information was obtained in a manner that's compatible with "free speech".

it just so happens that the resultant smberror.h is _entirely_ compatible with microsoft's nterror.h codes.

then, there was the stupidity of a company trying to claim for years that RC4 was their copyright. all that happened was that people renamed their algorithms to "arcfour" and called it "RC4-compatible".

you _cannot_ stop people from producing interoperable systems, and you _cannot_ patent software in Europe (and will be able to do so when hell freezes over: i've spoken to someone from the EPO and they and all of their colleagues will let software be patentable in Europe over their dead bodies).

all that happens, if you try to enforce "copyright" over a language is that you look like a dick. and in the case of free software vs a corporation _especially_ where health is involved, the party who is attempting to "control and restrict" has the hippocratic oath to take into consideration.

think about this: by attempting to "restrict and control" the flow of information, that company would be preventing and prohibiting doctors from being able to help their patients, because they would be prevented and prohibited from using anything but the most expensive restricted and controlled and licensed software, and many doctors simply cannot afford that.

so the restriction and control of information formatting, through the claiming of "copyright", is in direct conflict with the doctor's ability to fulfil their hippocratic oath.

think about that for a minute, and you begin to understand why there is silence on this issue.

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