[Biojava-l] File formats

Rich Heath rh4552000 at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Nov 20 04:59:08 EST 2003


I am a software developer based in the UK that has
been asked about producing a piece of software that
outputs data from the files in ABI sequencers in a
more human readable format. I hope the
org.biojava.bio.program.abi package will let me do
this, but I have some concerns about the legal
implications of using and contributing to this

Does anyone know what the legal position is with
regards reverse engineering the Applied Biosystems
file format (and any other file formats come to that
matter)? I would imagine this file format is the
property of Applied Biosystems and they would not like
me producing applications that read from it unless I
provide them with a sizable licence fee (although I
guess I am not reverse engineering it if I just use
the above package, just if I contribute to it?). 

Many thanks in advance for your help, 


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