There are some EULA which prohibit disassembly or reverse-engineering of its executables

Now Joe in Somalia gets a hold if this software, disassembles it, and publishes the algorithm online.

Bob in the United States gets a hold of this algorithm, re-implements it in his own software.

Assuming there are no patents, did Bob do something illegal? Is this similar to a "fruit of the poisoned tree?"


Take a look at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_room_design

From that it appears that you are just following the specifications of the algorithm made by a third party. You're not copying the algorithm, you are re-implementing it based on certain specifications you saw online.

I would say unless you agree to some contract like you will not implement this, it should be legal.

Furthermore, there is distinction between legality and breaching contracts.

It is not illegal to breach a contract. You could just be sued for damages and injunctive relief. Failure to abide by a judicial order, such as an injunction is illegal.



Algorithms are not subject to copyright like the original computer code is; they may be patentable but you have specifically said that they aren't. So you are not breaching any IP of the original owner.

Your friend in Somalia is breaching his contract with the original owner but that is not your issue. The IP he extracts (the algorithm) is not owned by anyone so you are free to use it.

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