Subject: RE: Aharonian's theory of non-copyrightability of software
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:10:37 -0700

> What these implications have for open source software may
> be limited to issues regarding the scope of copyright, but could also mean
> that an open source software copyright license will not reach aspects of
> source code not subject to copyright  -- whether they be deemed methods,
> processes, ideas or matters of fair use.

Why should our copyright licenses reach that far? Do we need to accept
Greg's arguments to reach that conclusion?

/Larry Rosen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. [mailto:roddixon@cyberspaces.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 6:30 AM
> To: Bruce Perens; Gregory Aharonian
> Cc: 'cody koeninger'; lrosen@rosenlaw.com; license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: Re: Aharonian's theory of non-copyrightability of software
> 
> Greg can defend himself, but some of his arguments are accurate, if you
> trace the historical development of the application of copyright law to
> software (computer programs), which dates as far back as 1967. The initial
> formal application of copyright law to "software" is dominated with
> confusion and inadvertent decisionmaking.  Google the Contu Report for
> exhibit 1.  Moreover, there are numerous law journal articles that
> ostensibly raise points quite similar to Greg's.  At bottom,  most,  but,
> not all, courts have not accepted these arguments when  applying copyright
> law to software. What these implications have for open source software may
> be limited to issues regarding the scope of copyright, but could also mean
> that an open source software copyright license will not reach aspects of
> source code not subject to copyright  -- whether they be deemed methods,
> processes, ideas or matters of fair use.
> 
> -Rod
> ------------
> Rod Dixon
> www.cyberspaces.org
> 
> ...... Original Message .......
> On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 18:03:05 -0700 Bruce Perens <bruce@perens.com> wrote:
> >Greg,
> >
> >We've discussed this before. I made it clear that I felt you were
> >parsing the cited law incorrectly. Larry independently told you the same
> >thing. At this point, you'd have to back your assertions up with real
> >cases in order for anyone to take them seriously. Show us a real case
> >that has gone through appeal in which a judge has found a Java method to
> >be uncopyrightable due to 17 USC 102b. Nobody's willing to buy
> >speculation on the future behavior of a judge based upon what seems so
> >clearly to be a flawed reading of the law. If you can't show us a case,
> >please assume that there is no hope of winning us over, and bring this
> >up again when you have better evidence.
> >
> >    Thanks
> >
> >    Bruce
> >