The IT Law Wiki


Decompilation is the process of translating a machine language program into a high-level language program.


One view is that limits on decompilation are required in order to encourage the development of original programs. Those who take this position argue that decompilation significantly lowers the cost of developing “clone” programs. They claim that the original program is decompiled, altered to disguise the copying, and then marketed. The clone program can then be sold at a lower price, taking away market share from the original developer, and reducing incentives for the development of new programs.

Others argue that decompilation is a difficult and time-consuming process that does not significantly reduce the cost of developing clone programs. A large disassembled program takes a great deal of effort to understand. In addition, they emphasize that decompilation is required for a variety of other purposes, many of which have a less direct impact on the developer of the program being decompiled.