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Re^2: Copyright on languages

by tobyink (Canon)
on May 03, 2012 at 07:04 UTC ( #968657=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Copyright on languages
in thread Copyright on languages

I would have expected patent law to be closer, as patents deal with inventions. If I patented a foot-driven can opener, and you started manufacturing something that worked the same, then I could potentially sue you.

I imagine the reason Oracle are trying their luck under copyright law is that they never applied for a patent for their API (whereas in Berne convention countries, copyright applies to works automatically). Plus in patent law prior art is important, and the design of the Java language (though not much of the API) borrows a lot from C++ and C.

perl -E'sub Monkey::do{say$_,for@_,do{($monkey=[caller(0)]->[3])=~s{::}{ }and$monkey}}"Monkey say"->Monkey::do'

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Re^3: Copyright on languages
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on May 03, 2012 at 17:17 UTC

    In counter to that notion, I offer the observation that patent law as actually applied to software simply has not worked.   We literally have patents covering the idea of a “twirlybird wait symbol” being translucent rather than solid.   A patent was issued to IBM covering the idea of using a “compare double and swap” instruction to update a singly-linked list even though the identical idea is taught in textbooks.   I opine that “patent law simply has not worked” because the idea is a shoe that really does not fit.   And copyright law really does not fit, either.   I think this is a different beast, such that a new legislative design is needed.   (And it won’t be an easy, obvious, or controversy-free design.)

Re^3: Copyright on languages
by Anonymous Monk on May 03, 2012 at 09:07 UTC

    Oracle basically wants someway of making money out of Java, anything would be OK. But they don't want a situation where they would want someone to be paying for per installation of their software.

    What they basically don't want is charging per server installation on orders of some thousand dollars per installation. That would kill Java.

    They would ideally want some other way like patent/copyright suits, or Manufacturers paying them per mobile device shipped. That would make a better deal for them, Instead of directly making a end user pay for a installation.

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