Archive for April 13th, 2008

Controversial Book Cover?

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Some people commented that by placing an image of a complete memory dump on the back cover of a book both violates copyright and intellectual property rights, as the picture is generated from copyrighted material. Instead they suggested to put a picture of a freeware program. Here is my response:

I disagree to the best of my understanding. This picture is just the visualized physical memory for illustration purposes only. What about disassembling a function to illustrate a bug? Or dumping memory, for example, a thread structure? Or printing a screenshot from Performance Monitor or Task Manager to illustrate CPU spike? Or a stack trace from a complete memory dump? Does it violate copyright and intellectual property rights because it is generated from copyrighted material? What about the front cover then, showing book spines of hundreds of copyrighted books? If Microsoft asks me to remove the picture, certainly, I’ll do it and reprint the book. And, surely, a memory dump of a freeware program will definitely contain portions of copyrighted material, like ntdll.dll, kernel32.dll or accidental 3rd-party hooks. Regarding a complete memory dump copyrighted material might have been paged out from physical memory and not included in file contents. Do you admit that printing a CRC number violates property rights because it was generated from copyrighted material? Due to the mathematical nature of involved algorithms it is not possible to reconstruct binary code from the printed cover picture which could have been created artificially as well.

What do you think?

- Dmitry Vostokov @ -