The question is a partial derivative of this one: Someone open-sourced an un-open-source project
Here is the situation:
There is a device and a proprietary software to manage that device. They are developed by some big international company. The proprietary software uses some kind of protocol to exchange information with the device. This protocol was reversed engineered partially via sniffering, partially by decompiling the proprietary software. The protocol itself looks quite huge, but only small part, say 5-10% of all functions was reversed and used in a new open source software.
Here are the questions:
- Is it legal to publish the open source software, say on github, where this reversed part of the protocol is used?
Note 1: The protocol itself is a relatively small part of the new open source software and not clearly visible from the first glance
- From the practical perspective: what can be the consequences from such an action and how it happens?
Note 3: Probable options could be: from noone notice, to simple ban of the project / developer account, to court invitation. E.g. a vendor employee notice the software on github and trigger the action
Note 4: The logic can also be the following: The vendor makes money on selling the devices. So appearing a software, which does not expose/exploit any vulnerabilities of a relatively old product will not hurt anyone, even can attract some attention to the products
- Bonus question: What happens if the new software is published as closed source on some app store?
Vendor itself should decompile the new software to prove that the protocol was reversed. This part is totally confusing.