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Fishface
5th September 2007, 23:44
My client runs a system that my co owns.

They want to get the data out of the database.

We have told them we would build an interface for them to get the data.

However they have some guy hacking around in the database trying to piece it together.

Is there anything I can do to stop this happening?

The source code is encrypted however the DB is an open book really SP's, design, keys.

Sockpuppet
6th September 2007, 02:27
Not really.

Cowboy Bob
6th September 2007, 05:21
My client runs a system that my co owns.

They want to get the data out of the database.

We have told them we would build an interface for them to get the data.

However they have some guy hacking around in the database trying to piece it together.

Is there anything I can do to stop this happening?

The source code is encrypted however the DB is an open book really SP's, design, keys.

No, I do that all the time to systems. There's a particular system I'm dealing with at the moment where there's a bug in the front-end. So I reverse-engineered their DB to manually correct it. When you need to get something done, you can't always wait for a vendor to fix their bugs first.

Besides, the data belongs to the client. They should be able to see it in it's raw form should they so wish. Your co only owns the container.

milanbenes
6th September 2007, 06:07
Maybe you would sel more database software if you let customers customize and extend the container ala a popular erp system

Milan.

Lucy
6th September 2007, 08:32
Milan

Do you pronounce your last name beanz or bennez ?

I just wondered because I've always thought of you as milanbeanz or some other rude name and it would be good to sort it out.

Sysman
6th September 2007, 08:42
I agree with Milan here.

It's the client's data, after all.

thunderlizard
6th September 2007, 08:54
Database copyright law is complex, even by software copyright standards. There's a good section on it in David Bainbridge, "Software Copyright Law".

Depending on contracts obviously, your company may indeed have IP rights on the design, and even on the data itself if it was compiled using your company's effort and ingenuity.

I think the main principle is one of fair use. If you are effectively holding their data to ransom in a way that was never envisaged by either party, the client is probably justified in reverse-engineering it. But if your offer to build an interface was reasonable (e.g. you can do it in a reasonable time for a reasonable price) they'll find it hard to make that defence.

But as I say it's complex, so getting a specialist lawyer to help warn them off would be a good first step.

King Cnvt
6th September 2007, 09:03
My client runs a system that my co owns.

They want to get the data out of the database.

Can't you dump all their data out to a set of CSV files (for example) and say "here's your data without the database." Should take all of about an hour to do that on most DB systems.

Where's the problem in that?

TheFaQQer
6th September 2007, 09:09
Database copyright law is complex, even by software copyright standards. There's a good section on it in David Bainbridge, "Software Copyright Law".

Dr. Bainbridge is the recognized guru on this kind of thing - part of my degree focused on new technology and the law, with him as the lecturer.

Get hold of the book, and see what there is in there - you may be able to do something, but my gut feeling would be not.

kramer
6th September 2007, 09:42
why aren't your SPs encrypted... and why do they have the kind of rights to connect directly to the db..???

Lucy
6th September 2007, 09:53
My client runs a system that my co owns.

They want to get the data out of the database.

We have told them we would build an interface for them to get the data.

However they have some guy hacking around in the database trying to piece it together.

Is there anything I can do to stop this happening?

The source code is encrypted however the DB is an open book really SP's, design, keys.


I think you have bigger things to worry about if you have a face like a fish.