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In http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4420953/how-to-get-at-the-database-schema-of-a-hidden-db-closed, the OP asks how he can peer through an ODBC connection to see some data. An answer arrives from someone with an axe to grind full-o-fud claiming that this is a horrific legal violation. The question ends up closed, perhaps for different reasons.

It seems to me that this sort of thing in an answer is not good, as it has, pardon the expression, a 'chilling effect.' Or, I dunno, maybe everyone else buys the argument that sending SQL queries into an ODBC driver could be right up there with leaking Hilary's grocery list.

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Very disappointed, I was hoping for this image: i.imgur.com/iFPB6.jpg –  waffles Dec 14 '10 at 3:33

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Pointing out that an action may be a license violation is perfectly okay, and if you need to purchase an extra license to poke in your own data, then you need to purchase that extra license. Maybe buy elsewhere next time - it's what I'd do. Anyway, it's well possible he is right.

I can also to some extent sympathize with the desire to protect a company one is a business partner of.

But throwing a wall of legalese at the OP (and claiming infallibility, denying any counter-arguments except if stated by a lawyer, talking about international law as if license restrictions have never been overturned by local courts) is just ridiculous.

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I entirely agree with your formulation. –  Rosinante Dec 14 '10 at 2:45
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The legalese answer was a bunch of crap, as the licence clause to "not reverse engineer the product" is part of a civil contract and can be legally unenforceable in many jurisdictions (just like you car dealer cannot prevent you from dismantling your car to see how it works). –  slugster Dec 14 '10 at 5:29

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