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What about copyright? | 354 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
What about copyright?
Authored by: dio gratia on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 08:24 PM EST

Let's not make the mistake of assuming everything in software is copyright eligible. First there's 17 USC § 102(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").

Substantially similar fails by filtration of ineligible elements or those dictated by Scènes à faire ("Under the merger doctrine, courts will not protect a copyrighted work from infringement if the idea underlying the work can be expressed only in one way, lest there be a monopoly on the underlying idea").

You would think that a collision in object code space was either the result of something diminutive enough to be covered by exemption from copyright based on functionality or idea, a demonstration of Idea/Expression Dichotomy ("If those software developers are prevented from having access to the creative expression of another person’s implementation (e.g., the original program), then any similarities between the two implementations arise only from shared ideas rather than from copied expression").

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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