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From Rick Winscot <rick.wins...@gmail.com>
Subject Code and Copyright ( was: Logo Contest information )
Date Tue, 10 Jan 2012 19:41:45 GMT
That sentiment is growing more and more... legal-folks are starting to see software development
as 'creative juices' expressed digitally and not just IP. However, there are three decades
worth of precent that needs massaging to bring coding on-par with a field like graphic design.

Code can be covered by Copyright - a good case-in-point would be an algorithm in Numerical
Recipes. If you were to copy a unique algorithm from Numerical Recipes ( verbatim ) to a book
you are writing and intend to sell... it is possible that you are in violation of copyright.

What if you included one of those recipes in an application? ...would you still be in violation?
It depends... copyright does not guarantee exclusive rights to the creator. Keep in mind that
in the US exclusive rights = monopoly = anti-trust = illegal. This is where the 'fair use'
card is often played and the inclusion of a published algorithm in code is often seen as a
'derivative work' which is perfectly legal; copyright is difficult and costly to defend. In
a copyright case, the creator must prove infringement. 

This is why people / companies in the software field turn to IP (Intellectual Property), patents,
and licensing of technology. In an IP case, the burden of proof shifts to the other party...
  slippery slope eh?

I wasn't very clear on the 'implicit' comment... sorry about that. That comment should read
something like, "if ownership is not explicit it is implicit under the law" as far as software
is concerned.

-- 
Rick Winscot

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer... the above blah blah may not be worth a wooden nickel in a
court of law.


On Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM, Jeffry Houser wrote:

> 
> > On the other hand - pro-bono for the committer is strictly a time contribution as
far as US law is concerned. It's implicit that any work done for Apache Flex is 'owned' by
Apache Flex - period. The world of software / intellectual property is governed by patents.
> I believe this is an incomplete understanding. For starters why can't 
> code be covered by copyright? There is tons of stuff out there if you 
> Google it; and most of it makes me think that it can be.
> 
> I remember a stack overflow podcast where Joel talks about code 
> ownership; and the gist was that the code you write belongs to you 
> unless a contract is in place which states otherwise. Most businesses 
> have such agreement in place.
> 
> As an initial committer to Apache Flex, both myself and my company had 
> to sign an agreement with Apache. This seems like a very explicit 
> agreement, not an implicit one as you suggest. I assume such an 
> agreement is required due to the above reasons.
> 
> But, yes you're right we don't have to deal with trademarks related to 
> source code.
> 
> -- 
> Jeffry Houser
> Technical Entrepreneur
> 203-379-0773
> --
> http://www.flextras.com?c=104
> UI Flex Components: Tested! Supported! Ready!
> --
> http://www.theflexshow.com
> http://www.jeffryhouser.com
> http://www.asktheflexpert.com
> --
> Part of the DotComIt Brain Trust
> 
> 



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