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There is a piece of software floating around there called ASIO Link Pro, but apparently (and sadly) the author of that software has passed away. (https://www.reddit.com/r/obs/comments/7ffn5f/alternative_to_odeus_asiolink_for_audio_routing/)

Evidently the software needs to communicate with a license server which is no longer being maintained (or something like this) which has effectively rendered the software useless.

In Reddit link above, you can see that people have come up with a patch from reverse engineering the product. I've included the EULA here for reference, but want to highlight this section specifically for this question.

You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble ASIO LINK PRO, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation.

So my question is: To what extent is such activity (reverse engineering, decompiling, disassembling) expressly permitted by applicable law?

I get that it's complicated with multiple countries and everything, but let's just say US, UK, and AU as some examples...

Full End User License Agreement

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE CONTINUING WITH THIS PROGRAM INSTALL:

O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543)
End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) for AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) ASIO LINK PRO(s) identified above which may include associated software components, media, printed materials, and "online" or electronic documentation ("ASIO LINK PRO"). By installing, copying, or otherwise using ASIO LINK PRO, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA. This license agreement represents the entire agreement concerning the program between you and O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543), (referred to as "licenser"), and it supersedes any prior proposal, representation, or understanding between the parties. If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, do not install or use ASIO LINK PRO.

ASIO LINK PRO is protected by copyright laws and international copyright treaties, as well as other intellectual property laws and treaties. ASIO LINK PRO is licensed, not sold.

1. GRANT OF LICENSE.
ASIO LINK PRO is licensed as follows:
(a) Installation and Use.
O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) grants you the right to install and use copies of ASIO LINK PRO on the number of computers for which a license has been purchased [e.g. A 2 machine license allows install on 2 computers] and each computer must be running a validly licensed copy of the operating system for which ASIO LINK PRO was designed [e.g., Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows Vista].

2. DESCRIPTION OF OTHER RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS.
(a) Maintenance of Copyright Notices.
You must not remove or alter any copyright notices on any and all copies of ASIO LINK PRO.
(b) Distribution.
You may not distribute registered copies of ASIO LINK PRO to third parties. Evaluation versions available for download from AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) website may be freely distributed.
(c) Prohibition on Reverse Engineering, De-compilation, and Disassembly.
You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble ASIO LINK PRO, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation.
(d) Rental.
You may not rent, lease, or lend ASIO LINK PRO.
(e) Support Services.
O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) may provide you with support services related to ASIO LINK PRO ("Support Services"). Any supplemental software code provided to you as part of the Support Services shall be considered part of ASIO LINK PRO and subject to the terms and conditions of this EULA.
(f) Compliance with Applicable Laws.
You must comply with all applicable laws regarding use of ASIO LINK PRO.

3. TERMINATION
Without prejudice to any other rights, O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) may terminate this EULA if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this EULA. In such event, you must destroy all copies of ASIO LINK PRO in your possession.

4. COPYRIGHT
All title, including but not limited to copyrights, in and to ASIO LINK PRO and any copies thereof are owned by O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) or its suppliers. All title and intellectual property rights in and to the content which may be accessed through use of ASIO LINK PRO is the property of the respective content owner and may be protected by applicable copyright or other intellectual property laws and treaties. This EULA grants you no rights to use such content. All rights not expressly granted are reserved by O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543).

5. NO WARRANTIES
O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) expressly disclaims any warranty for ASIO LINK PRO. ASIO LINK PRO is provided 'As Is' without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including but not limited to any warranties of merchantability, non-infringement, or fitness of a particular purpose. O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) does not warrant or assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within ASIO LINK PRO. O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) makes no warranties respecting any harm that may be caused by the transmission of a computer virus, worm, time bomb, logic bomb, or other such computer program. O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) further expressly disclaims any warranty or representation to Authorized Users or to any third party.

6. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
In no event shall O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, lost profits, business interruption, or lost information) rising out of 'Authorized Users' use of or inability to use ASIO LINK PRO, even if O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event will O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) be liable for loss of data or for indirect, special, incidental, consequential (including lost profit), or other damages based in contract, tort or otherwise. O DEUS AUDIO (ABN 53456965543) shall have no liability with respect to the content of ASIO LINK PRO or any part thereof, including but not limited to errors or omissions contained therein, libel, infringements of rights of publicity, privacy, trademark rights, business interruption, personal injury, and loss of privacy, moral rights or the disclosure of confidential information.```
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I'm not sure this would be a copyright violation.

17 USC 117 says:

(a)Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.—Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
(1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner...

Due to the shutdown of the license server, it is impossible to use the program without an adaptation. It is therefore an "essential step in the utilization of the computer program", and not infringing, in my opinion.

  • Thanks for citing your answer - it seems like you would have to own a copy of the computer program first. In this particular case, the software runs without a license but it basically ceases to function for 5 seconds every hour. In my opinion that is an essential piece that is missing. The sticky part is, what does it mean to "own" a copy of a computer program. i.e. if the text said "person who is licensed to use a copy of a computer program" might imply something different than "owner" – C. Tewalt Jan 28 at 21:58
  • The other complication in this case is that the license code is no longer available for purchase, although the software itself is available to download. – C. Tewalt Jan 28 at 21:59
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Reverse engineering, decompiling, and disassembling are all infringements of copyright, and are all prohibited without permission. The permission to use the available version is conditional, and excludes reverse engineering, decompiling, and disassembling. So without the consent of the current copyright holder, such a modification would be illegal and could make you liable to the copyright holder. The challenge would be determining authoritatively who holds the copyright (a relative? the company?)

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    Reverse engineering is allowed in some jurisdictions, and EULA stating otherwise have no effect. The EULA even says "except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation". depending on the jurisdiction of the buyer, it might very well be legal to reverse engineer the software in order to make it functional again. Remember that having a license means having the right to run the software. It would be great if you added sources to your answer and clarified for which jurisdiction this is true. – Polygnome Jan 26 at 16:34

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