Keywords: decompiler

Poll: Are Decompilers alright to use? (If you vote, comment)

Yes, in all cases 22% (6)
Yes, if the creator of the game is gone. 3% (1)
Yes, if you get permission 44% (12)
Never. 29% (8)

Only members of can vote.

Today in wiz_chat, there was a fairly heated argument over people decompiling games. Well, I would like to input my view.

I do believe they are ok if you get permission from the creator, but don't just go take the source code to a game. I don't care if you just want to fix the bugs or whatever, you are stealing somone elses work. They put hours into those games alot of the times. If you want to update the game, ask the creator if you can have permission.

Now, some interesting points were raised in that chat room. I see why some people think it is ok. For example, if the creator of the game has left, they go ahead and try it. As long as they don't claim rights to that, I think it is ok. But then again, people were saying that they wouldn't want people to use any of their work even if they did leave. I can see why. I don't want to code an entire game (although I know I would fail at it and noone would want to steal the source) and then just have someone rip it from me...

Alright, I want to go outside so I won't type to much more. So just write down your opinions on this topic.
If the creator has left BYOND for good and their popular game was unplayable due to a huge bug that still does not give anyone the right to steal. But I say it is ok if the owner of the game lost the source code, then they said that they want you to decompile it so they can get it back. An example is if Leftley wanted to work on Lode Wars again but he lost the code, then someone can then decompile it for them.
From the little bit I've heard about Slurm, he seems like he's intelligent, and not an asshole, so I think he can be trusted with a decompiler.

I've not had a chance to speak with him, though, because he just so happened to start using wiz_chat right as I decided I was done dealing with chat programs on BYOND.
Slurm is indeed a good person. He has already made it clear he will not decompile games unless the creator comes and asks him and there is solid proof that the person is in fact the creator.

What's more, Slrum is the only person with a decompiler. Anyone else was just sponging off his work at the time. And to top it off, Slurm is on our side. If Lummox is the new Dan, Slurm is the new Lummox of BYOND. (In a not working for the BYOND staff, just a really good programmer, kinda way.)

And finally, I don't support the construction and/or use of RSC extractors, so my view on decompilers is infact "Hell no!". I already asked the question of Tom if there will be anything done to maintain the security of peoples code. Should a decompiler be released, then I believe they will start encrypting the dmb and begin the endless race between good and evil.
In response to Tiberath: I do not know Slurm, so I cannot comment on him that much. But I am sure that he is a very trustworthy person with a decompiler. But he decompiled Space Station 13. Exadv1 was notified, then he entered Wiz_Chat, and said only one thing. He said that he does not approve of it and if Slurm uses that source, he may try to see how Slurm can be punished if there was any copyrights violated. He did not get permission and was not asked by Exadv1 to decompile.
From what I've heard, SS13's owner had either lost the source or just stopped working on the game all together. Now all of a sudden he's interested in working again.

Slurm is indeed quite the trust worthy man and has already entered the respect list of both Tom and Lummox (not to mention several others). Two weeks on BYOND and he's already done something no one else could do after years of attempting. That makes him an extraordinary programmer in my eyes.
And I've already told him if he starts decompiling code and releasing it, I'll punch him in the throat. Never-the-less, he's a good guy, and working your knowledge off someone from hearsay is stupidity.
Actually, would it be copyright violation? Think of a book, say someone cuts up the book, to make it say something else, can the writer of the book really do anything, especially if the modified book is never sold?

If Exadv1 had a ToS or EULA claiming that the distribution comes with the restriction of no decompiling or reverse engineering, then he would have some grounds to "punish" him.

That being said, if Exadv1 doesn't want him to do it, Slurm shouldn't out of respect(Or at least not show his work to anyone).
AFAIK, derivative works are covered under copyright.
I think the best thing to do would be for Slurm to fix up the bugs and just send the .zip to Exadv1 via email or something.
@Danial.Beta, Airjoe: Copyright law generally applies only to the distribution of copyrighted things.

For instance, if you were to purchase a paperback book, you could take that book, scan that book into a digital format, and keep that digital format on your computer -- even if the publisher also sold a digital format of the book. You're allowed to do pretty much anything you want with something you legitimately own, including making backups, but you're not allowed to reproduce it to give or sell copies -- and a jury might consider you guilty of copyright violation if you had, say, more than five or six backups in your house, since that seems like you're reproducing with intent to distribute.

"Reproduction in any form is not permitted without express written consent of the publisher" is not legally binding.

How this applies here is that it's perfectly legal to decompile something, but not legal to take any of the source code from the decompiled work. You can look at the work, learn how it functions, and otherwise look at it to see what it does (the "reverse-engineer" clause on most EULAs is also often considered non-binding, but that varies by the person interpreting the law), but can't take any of it without infringing on copyright.
Tiberath wrote:
From what I've heard, SS13's owner had either lost the source or just stopped working on the game all together.

The latter.

Tiberath wrote:
Now all of a sudden he's interested in working again.

I convinced him to come back.
Squeegy, you did not convince him. School ended for him, and he decided that he wants to start a new game. People SAID he lost the source and decided to stop programming, but he never said that. That was all speculation and assumptions. Sure, Slurm is smart, and amazing at programming and such, but he is not the problem. What if others try to copy his actions, then use it for the wrong reasons?
*shrug* Decompilers don't write your game for you. The code isn't readable. Unless you know what the variables actually are, it's of little help to you.
How is it little help? It is coding the game for you.
Did you completely miss the "the code isn't readable" part, or what?
Seems so.
Revojake wrote:
How is it little help? It is coding the game for you.

It's decipherable, but not readable, as Jt said. Imagine code that had all it's loops unravelled, procs were floating labels and vars had names like var24334. Not to mention that var24334 originally could've been a sub variable of another datum (like mob.control.AI.angry) and you'd never know the association (without really careful tracking).

IIRC, that's what you'd hafta work with.
It's a curiosity, nothing more.

What I want to see is a DM assembler. :)
Jp wrote:
It's a curiosity, nothing more.

What I want to see is a DM assembler. :)

With the dm.exe released, I don't foresee that being a problem, provided the person has BYOND installed already.

Or at least, that's the rumours I've been hearing.
Wtf is a DM assembler? Switches code to be DM?
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