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Re: re-writing algorithms in Guile

From: Jay Sulzberger
Subject: Re: re-writing algorithms in Guile
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2021 05:26:38 +0000 ()

On Mon, 28 Jun 2021, Tim Meehan <> wrote:

Say for instance, I have found an algorithm for scalar function
minimization on a website, written in C. It is posted with a license for
use. If I write something based on this hypothetical code, is it then
clearly also licensed in the same manner?

Granted, I know that this is guile-user and not guile-lawyer, but in many
cases the transformation from procedural to functional is kind of a radical
re-imagining. I usually try to contact the people and ask them directly,
but was wondering what was the general consensus in cases where the
original author did not answer?

Algorithms cannot be copyrighted.


Here is a quote from the article:

  United States Copyright Office

  Ideas, Methods, or Systems

  What Is Not Protected by Copyright

  Copyright law does not protect ideas, methods, or systems.
  Copyright protection is therefore not available for ideas or
  procedures for doing, making, or building things scientific or
  technical methods or discoveries; business operations or
  procedures; mathematical principles; formulas or algorithms; or
  any other concept, process, or method of operation

  Section 102 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the U.S. Code)
  clearly expresses this principle: ???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

  Inventions are subject matter for patents, not copyrights.
  For information about patent laws, contact

  Commissioner for Patents
  U. S. Patent and Trademark Office
  P.  O . Box 1450
  Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
  (800) 786-9199

Your program in Guile Scheme which realizes an algorithm is not a
derivative work of the program you read, which program is written in
C.  Even in the case that your program realizes the same algorithm as
the C program does.  The above official article of the US Copyright
Office clearly states this.


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