[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Unibyte characters, strings, and buffers

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Unibyte characters, strings, and buffers
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2014 01:03:15 +0900

Eli Zaretskii writes:

 > I'm quite sure you can also describe the fine details of the
 > implementation, as long as you don't describe that by posting the
 > actual code.

No, that's not necessarily the case.  At least in the U.S., the
criteria are expressiveness, originality, and fixed in a medium.
Email is such a medium.  Obviously, design can be original.  Design
decisions are rarely dictated by the one feasible way to do it, and if
not, design is an expressive act and subject to copyright.

I don't know if Richard is still so cautious, but the above reasoning
is why would-be contributors to GNU of work-alike software are advised
to use different algorithms and data structures from the original in
their implementations.

 > AFAIU, copyright protects only the form, not the ideas.  Ideas can
 > be described and discussed at any level of detail, because
 > implementation of those same ideas by another person will never,
 > except by improbable accident, be so close to the original as to be
 > suspected of copying.

Unfortunately, many cases that some observers believe involve
independent invention in fact were resolved in favor of the plaintiff
on the basis that the appearance was sufficiently similar, and the
defendent couldn't prove non-copying.[1]  Your "probability" argument
doesn't hold up.

[1]  Copyright infringement is a tort, not a crime, here.  Criminal
infringement puts the burden of proof squarely on the prosecutor.
Civil cases, however, are based on the "preponderance of evidence".

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]