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Improving interoperability by encouraging the sharing of interface specifications.

Weston, S., 2017. Improving interoperability by encouraging the sharing of interface specifications. Law, Innovation and Technology, 9 (1), 78 - 116.

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Interoperability - for BURO as submitted for Law, Innovation and Technology - Feb 2017.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1080/17579961.2017.1302695


3D CAD software is vital to record design information. The industry is oligopolistic and despite standards has all the elements associated with a lack of interoperability, namely proprietary software, network effects and lock-in. Interfaces are similar to standards and their indirect effect amplifies their impact and value and distorts the intended intellectual property protection. The distributed machine code is not readable and the restrictions on reverse engineering are tantamount to making the information a statutory trade secret. The regulation of interoperability is a balancing act between control by rightsholders and openness of interfaces. Identifying the ‘pivot’ point must take account of the software’s functional nature and data integrity. Existing proposals are evaluated and recommendations with least intervention that encourage market solutions are made. These involve a modest and doctrinally appropriate amendment to Article 6 of the Software Directive to legitimise the sharing of interface specifications obtained by decompilation and to encourage the use of a public register to improve dissemination.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:interoperability; software interfaces; 3D CAD; standards; reverse engineering
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:29402
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:26 Jun 2017 09:21
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:05


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