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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: Request for Comment : Harmony Contribution Policy
Date Tue, 02 Aug 2005 13:50:02 GMT
"Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote on 08/01/2005 06:02:34 PM:

> On Aug 1, 2005, at 10:22 AM, Justin Erenkrantz wrote:
> 
> > Furthermore, my understanding of copyright law is that you can't be 
> > tainted by 'reading' source code years ago and then writing a version 
> > independently.  (In fact, the examples I've heard of are 'minutes 
> > apart' is legally acceptable.)  Of course, patent infringement occurs 
> > whether you've read the code or not.  FWIW, our compiler languages 
> > class here at UC Irvine teaches Java internals - therefore, they'd all 

> > be 'tainted' under this definition - which isn't actually the case.
> 
> I agree with Justin.  BTW, the two sides of the coin are copyright
> and trade secret law.  Copyright does not apply to things that you
> may have learned in the past. 

I think that there is a misunderstanding as to what the requirements are 
for a copyright claim.  If we want to get into a more complete discussion, 
the legal-discuss list would be more appropriate, but in short, the above 
posts are incorrect.  Merely reading another work (in the past, even years 
in the past) is sufficient as a basis for a copyright claim.  Basically, 
to successfully assert a copyright claim, you need to show 2 things . . . 
Access and Substantial Similarity.  Access does not need to be concurrent. 
 There have been cases where the access was MANY, MANY years prior. 

Jeff


Staff Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -8160
(notes) jthom@ibmus  (internet) jthom@us.ibm.com (home) jeff@beff.net
(web) http://www.beff.net/ 

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