[Air-L] cultural/political studies on Reverse Engineering ?
rforno at infowarrior.org
Mon Sep 27 06:16:35 PDT 2010
You could look into the conflicting cultural-legal expectations over the reverse-engineering of IP controls (ala DMCA in the USA) regarding movies and music (ie, Felten, Lessig, et. al). Think about folks who reverse-engineer an MP3 DRM scheme to "jailbreak" the song so it can be played anywhere, anytime -- without the original owner's approval.
Reverse-engineering also plays a big role in the investigation of cybersecurity risk and vulnerabilities ... ie, folks looking to see what a vendor patch "patched" and/or exploring ways to break into systems just to find vulnerabilities either for malicious intentions or out of a desire to improve Internet security. Going back to what I said above, for 10 years, the DMCA -- a law in the US designed to protect an owner's rights to their intellectual property -- was used as a cudgel to keep security researchers from reverse engineering software products and publicising their results. Thankfully, the Library of Congress just carved out an exemption to allow such reverse-engineering activities, which many in the cybersecurity world have wanted for years.
Reverse-engineering is one of those areas that blurs the lines between commercial law, property ownership, cybersecurity, and the evolving social/consumer expectations of information ownership and use. Should be a fun topic for you to explore!
On Sep 27, 2010, at 05:22 , Antoine Mazieres wrote:
> Dear IRs,
> First of all, I'm following this mailing-list with great attention since more than a year, and it's the first time i'm posting something, so : thanks for existing ! :)
> I'm doing some research on cultural aspects and political implications of Reverse Engineering, understood as a specific way to interact with devices and to learn.
> I've started some field studies and already get some good bibliographical references about reversing of Skype, DRM, or general considerations on regulation and law issues attached to that topic. But, until now I didn't find something that do a zoom-out on cultural and political contexts of this practice.
> Maybe one of you have heard on something ? Or could suggest a trail to follow ?
> Thank you,
> All best,
> Antoine Mazières
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