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From Santiago Gala <santiago.g...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: When is software a derivative work of a specification
Date Fri, 17 Sep 2010 17:42:11 GMT
On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 10:18 PM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 4:01 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:
>> I'm moving this thread away from ASF internal lists onto this public
>> legal-discuss list in the hope that other lawyers and knowledgeable
>> contributors here will contribute to answer the question:
>>
>> When, if ever, is a software implementation a copyrightable derivative work
>> of its specification?
>
> Concrete example:
>
> http://s.apache.org/KRV is a verbatim copy of
> http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/svgdtd.html#DTD.2
>
> In addition to retaining the copyright notice, we also mention this in
> the NOTICE file:
>
> http://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/xmlgraphics/batik/trunk/NOTICE
>
> - Sam Ruby
>

Our legal faq states (
http://www.apache.org/legal/src-headers.html#faq-exceptions ):
  "Q: What files in an Apache release do not require a license header?
  A: A file without any degree of creativity in either its literal
elements or its structure is not protected by copyright law;
therefore, such a file does not require a license header. If in doubt
about the extent of the file's creativity, add the license header to
the file."

wouldn't it be the case here that our product is not a derivative of
the executable spec, as it does not has creativity? but rather, if the
specification "concepts" are deemed copyrighteable, of those...

IANAL, but it looks to me that the fact that a file is a
straightforward "mechanical" expression of a behaviour which is to be
standardised (i.e. implemented by anyone in a sector or business)
copyright law should in a sense "get our of the way"...

Regards
Santiago

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