Software manufacturers may use copyrighted material to create a non-infringing final product, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

In a case closely watched by the software industry and the legal community, the court concluded in Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. v. Connectix Corp., 00 C.D.O.S. 1106, that the process of “reverse engineering” a copyrighted product to make a non-infringing emulation constitutes “fair use.”

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