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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 18:05:32 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

Alan Mackenzie wrote:
Assuming it wasn't dynamically generated somehow, that
code (the data structure), was copied in stages from the original GPL'd
.h file, undergoing transformations at each copying stage.  That copying
is analagous to that which goes on when a novel is translated to Russian.

I'm sorry, but this is complete nonsense. I don't think it's worth
continuing this discussion any further, in the face of stubborn error.

Have they ruled that he doesn't acquire copyright over
a sufficiently well-delineated data structure?

In the Lotus/Borland case, they ruled that Borland's exact copying of
the interface of Lotus 1-2-3 down to the keystroke was not copyright

Do you know of any concrete court cases which back this assertion up?

    (b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of
    authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method
    of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the
    form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied
    in such work.

What is copyrighted is the _essence_ of the tune or chord sequence.

No, what is copyrighted is the literal tune or chord sequence.

Its "textual" form (i.e. the instrument/voice it's played/sung by, the key
it's in) is irrelevant.

No. Such recast versions are derivative works of the original
copyrighted music.

You seem to be saying that copyright law entitles anybody to extract
any portion of a program's functionality away from the whole, and combine
this with any other functionality of his choosing, and to this end he
may disregard any copyright held on that program by somebody else.

Yes, exactly, as long as the extraction consists of ideas and methods
rather than text. See the quote from copyright law above.

Protection for such things may be secured in other ways, such as by
patent or trade secret.

The context was that you were implying that the
GPL is, by its nature, an important obstacle to i14y.

I was stating that copyright cannot be used to prevent interoperability.
The GPL is not an obstacle to interoperability because it cannot be used
to prevent it.

It is easy to see, particularly for somebody like RMS...

It is unnecessary to guess the goals of the GPL because they are spelled
out in its preamble.

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