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Re: re-writing algorithms in Guile

From: tomas
Subject: Re: re-writing algorithms in Guile
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2021 09:56:32 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Mon, Jun 28, 2021 at 04:38:50PM -0500, 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?

Definitely not: a license is about copyright, and copyright protects the
expression of an idea, not the idea itself (the Lord of the Rings is under
copyright, but if you write a novel involving very old talking trees, you
dont infringe on that).

For ideas there are patents. The situation on software patents is complicated,
to say the least.

You might want to not use exactly the same variable names, just to make sure :)

For an example where the line lies, more or less, in U.S. jurisdiction, see
the Oracle vs. Google case on the Java API (the question was whether the
"header files", which define the interface, are under copyright or not.

Note that this actually involves copying some files verbatim, so your example
lies far on the "safe side" of it.

NOTE: I'm not a lawyer, nor I play one on TV.


 - t

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