I'm most of the time on gamedev.se, and, once in a while, we get questions like this:

I'd like to do a fan game of the SNES game XYZ. How can I extract the images from it?

I'm pretty sure EULAs for games prevent users from doing some kind of reverse engineering on their games.

While not being illegal, I feel that this kind of behaviour is not professional, and thus should not be tolerated.

So, is there an official position on reverse enginering and doing actions against EULAs? If so, what is it? Or is it a stack-by-stack policy? (And if not, should we have one, as this a grey zone and it makes moderation harder to do?)

  • 5
    Note that most EULAs are not legally valid, unprofessional and immoral to begin with.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 19:40
  • 1
    Note that it seems to vary by site; I know for instance that Arqade (gaming) has a close reason for illegal content. E.g. Pirating or asking to do something against the games ToS/EULA Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


Stack Exchange, and by extension it's users, are not bound by the EULA another user agrees to. It is not our job to enforce a 3rd party's license, trademark, copy right or anything else.

A user has the following obligations when posting content though (taken from the terms of service, section 3)

Subscriber represents, warrants and agrees that it will not contribute any Subscriber Content that (a) infringes, violates or otherwise interferes with any copyright or trademark of another party, (b) reveals any trade secret, unless Subscriber owns the trade secret or has the owner’s permission to post it, (c) infringes any intellectual property right of another or the privacy or publicity rights of another, (d) is libelous, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harassing, hateful, offensive or otherwise violates any law or right of any third party, (e) contains a virus, trojan horse, worm, time bomb or other computer programming routine or engine that is intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or information, or (f) remains posted after Subscriber has been notified that such Subscriber Content violates any of sections (a) to (e) of this sentence.

If content is posted, we should be safe to assume they are not violating the above terms. If they are violating the terms, then the original owner has to contact Stack Exchange to deal with the content. Not you. Not me.

While not being illegal, I feel that this kind of behaviour is not professional, and thus should not be tolerated.

Assuming that the user posts a much better question than your overly broad example, there is nothing unprofessional about reverse engineering. A chunk of computer security is done via reverse engineering. Learning how other systems tick, via reverse engineering, is a good way to learn. There is even a Reverse Engineering site.

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