Oracle Isn't a Linux Company (Motley Fool)
Posted Oct 20, 2006 15:15 UTC (Fri) by tjc
In reply to: Oracle Isn't a Linux Company (Motley Fool)
Parent article: Oracle Isn't a Linux Company (Motley Fool)
Copyright law doesn't restrict the rights to use ideas.
That's what software patent law does.
Yes, I think we agree on that.
Copyright protects work.
My understanding is that copyright is more specific than that -- it protects the expression of ideas, not just work in general.
They have precedent set on what sort of proofs are required before you can be successfully found libal for copyright infringement.Things like the amount of matching code that is required for you to be found liable; programs designed to analis non-trivial simularities between code bases, expert testimony, etc etc
Well there's "comparator" for a start:
But it's not really clear what the precedent is. To the best of my knowlege all successful GPL violation law suites have involved the blatant copying of minimally modified code from one program to another. I know of no law suites that have been settled on the basis of code that has been determined to have been derived from previous work in a non-obvious way.
The reason I bring all this up is because we as a community make a big fuss about licenses, but legal precedent is vague at best, except in the obvious case mentioned above. This could be a big problem down the road.
I'd love to hear Eblen Moglen talk about this.
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