MS Office on Linux 14770
MS Office on Linux 14771
Yes, they can; by releasing the source code to their software, people can use it to customize and modify the...
MS Office on Linux 14773
Ah, I was waiting for that! The point is that for a real program of any size, and even for many trivial functions, the odds of two people hitting on...
Ray Ingles "Distributing" meant burning the tables into their ROMs to use in their hardware. That's hardly a "distribution" in the sense that software is ordinarily considered. Their specific adaption would be pertinent to only their specific configuration and not something that some user would ever extend on his own.
You frequently misstate my position like that, Ray, and it must be because I have not been clear enough. My position is that it may prove to be the case that ideas that are expressed in a computer language are so limited in expression that the resultant source code may not be protected by copyright since it is substantially forced into limited forms by the limits of the language used to express it.
The idea itself is not protected and everyone seems to first agree on that. The tests provided in the cite you offered define a method that was constructed by a judge, who wasn't a software engineer, but could still see that some things were very common in software design and couldn't be copyright material although they could be possibly patented.
The court in the CA case further ruled that there was nothing protected in terms of the overall organization of the idea behind the overall work and each subroutine was just a logical step in the specification of the idea and so that structure was not protected and could be duplicated.
The difficulty comes in trying to say that source code is a form of literature comparable to novels, poetry, and such. Perhaps exact verbatim copying is akin to that, but, if you have the source to learn from, the idea can be re-stated almost identically to the original and the result is not a violation of copyright.
That is the premise and it is certainly subject to a trial by jury, but I do not see anything to dismiss it out of hand.