The fact that software can be protected so many types also means that you can be sued on all of them – trade secrets, copyright, patents and contract law theories – if you were unhappy enough to have signed your reverse engineering rights (or say what you learned). Software licenses that prohibit reverse engineering may or may not withstand a challenge, but most people think they will. In any event, there was a case in which a federal appels court ruled that such a provision was applicable and did not conflict with copyright law, and the Supreme Court refused to reconsider the decision and they would have rejected it if they had seriously disagreed. So be careful what you agree on. While the goal of reverse engineering is not always to copy or recreate things based on constituent information, the risk is always that it will not have protection against reverse engineering. … the copyright holder could (and could probably) assert that your legitimate right to use a copy of the program depended on whether you accepted the final user license agreement in its entirety and, as such, any use of the program by you would not be legal without that agreement. Neither this agreement nor the disclosure of confidential information grants the party that receives a license in the context of patents, trademarks, service marks or copyrights. Unfortunately, if we define reverse engineering as “trying to figure out how something works”, the state of the law is that there are places on planet Earth where there are laws that limit what you can do. The center of this restrictive universe is currently the United States.
Cem Kaner, a professor of software engineering and director of the Center for Software Testing Education – Research at the Florida Institute of Technology, believes that restrictions on U.S. reverse engineering programmers prevent U.S. programmers from facing competition: the license granted by this agreement is limited, non-permanent and is granted on the basis of a subscription that requires an annual extension. If you do not extend and pay the subscription fee, your PROGRAM usage rights will be waived and terminated.