Oracle Isn't a Linux Company (Motley Fool)
Posted Oct 22, 2006 8:57 UTC (Sun) by njs
In reply to: Oracle Isn't a Linux Company (Motley Fool)
Parent article: Oracle Isn't a Linux Company (Motley Fool)
> So how much of any given program constitutes an original form of expression? Probably not very much. Variable and type names, and maybe the interfaces between different parts of a program. Most programs are a sequence of common idioms.
The use and arrangement of those common idioms may, however, be expressive and subject to copyright. Recall that in copyright law for plain old literature, you don't have to re-use any particular words to be in violation -- if I release a book which has the same number of chapters as your book, with pretty much the same events happening in each, then I'm almost definitely in violation.
The general framework that at least some circuit courts use for this is the "abstraction, filtration, and comparison" test, where "abstraction" refers to looking for expressive elements at all levels, not just variable names and interfaces. E.g., one decent article I found searching around: http://digital-law-online.info/lpdi1.0/treatise22.html
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