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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: [legal] Bulk contribution barrier to entry
Date Wed, 12 Oct 2005 08:51:16 GMT
Richard Nienaber wrote:
> What are the implications in the following scenario:
> 
> Person A contributes completely original code X
> Independent reviewer compares X code to copyrighted code Y from $BIGCORP and
> finds them extremely similar
> 
> Now, I'm not saying that Person A was lying, they just solved the problem
> in the same way. Does that mean that Person A's contribution has to be
> scrapped and rewritten?
> 

No, as long as the work is Person A's own work.

If, for example, the task at hand is to enumerate the letters of the
alphabet in the increasing order,  x% of people would get the same
solution, without necessarily copying it from each other. There are only
so many ways to reasonably write a getter/setter pair in Java, for example.

For how blindly trusting 'independent reviewers' to detect copyright
infringement in similar code, without thinking really hard about the
issues involved (copyright law, scenes-a-faire, copyrightability, is my
code really my own, do we have any clue about the pedigree of the code
at hand) can be pretty harmful to a $BIGCORP's bottom line, see SCO vs.
The World. [1]

cheers,
dalibor topic

[1] http://perens.com/Articles/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html

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