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Re: The death of copyright in software

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: The death of copyright in software
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 00:51:31 +0200

On Wed, 30 May 2007 13:51:34 -0500
rjack <rjack@com> wrote:

> So what is creative and original about copycatting the functionality
> of other Unix shells?

The way in which it is done. Most novels deal with relationships
between people, but that doesn't mean that they cannot be covered
by copyright.

And in any case, copyright is not about the ideas, but about the
specific expression of those ideas. 

You can write a POSIX compliant shell that shares not one line of code
with another POSIX compliant shell. You can write a C++ compiler that
is structurally completely different from another C++ compiler, and
there will be little doubt that both are protected by copyright.

In the case of drivers, that must call specific routines in the OS and
perform specific hardware manipulations, two implementations might be
so close to each other as to be indistinguishable, in which case their
would be no way to claim copyright infringement (unless, I suppose,
there is hard evidence that one of the parties did indeed copy the
code of the other). 

Most (business) programs implement some kind of standard (or
pre-defined process). Surely you don't want to suggest that Payroll
programs cannot be copyrighted?

Stefaan A Eeckels
 Life itself is a misery and nobody can tell what can be of it.
Those that can tell what can be of it are those who cannot tell
us because they are far from us (dead).   -- Very profound scam

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