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Re: [Gcl-devel] Odd idea...

From: jeff
Subject: Re: [Gcl-devel] Odd idea...
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 20:59:12 +0100
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Quoting C Y <address@hidden>:

> > If the protection on the spec is copyright, there shouldn't be
> > any problem for implementations.
> I'm assuming that's the case, but I'm just curious about distinguishing
> between spec and code.

I'm not sure what you think is relevantly the same about them.

> >   "Ideas, Methods, or Systems are not subject to copyright
> >   protection. Copyright protection, therefore, is not available
> >   for: ideas or procedures for doing, making, or building things;
> Isn't that exactly what any specification is though - a procedure for
> making and building a language?

What's protected by copyright is the way the spec is expressed,
rather than the programming language it describes.

It's even possible to have a different document that describes
the same language without violating the copyright.

> Right, but since the spec document IS in a sense a "procedure" or
> "method of operation" I'm not sure quite what the distinction is.

I don't think's that's what the book IS.  The programming language
might be considered a procedure or method of operation, but the
language (Common Lisp) isn't protected by copyright.  Or, if you
prefer, that procedure / method aspect of the book isn't protected
by copyright.

> ... if you take a book and translate it into another language,
> IIRC that is a derivative work and requires permission from the
> original copyright holder.  Couldn't an ANSI Common Lisp implementation
> essentially be viewed as a translation of the spec from English
> to C or some other programming language?

A translation runs into the copyright protection because it
so closely follows the original.  But that doesn't mean someone
else can't tell the same story in a different way.

Indeed, a second translation of the same original doesn't
need permission from the copyright owner of the first
translation unless it follows it closely.

> Just curious.  Anyway, more to the point would be how to get the status
> of the ANSI draft standard clarified.

What's not clear about it?

-- jeff

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