Subject: RE: Aharonian's theory of non-copyrightability of software
From: "Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M." <roddixon@cyberspaces.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 13:50 -0400

 Hi Larry - let me be clear that I am not speaking for Greg; for my part, I 
would argue that, generally (and excluding those licenses that use the term 
'modification' in an imprecise manner), open source copyright  licenses do 
not reach into ideas, processes or otherwise implicate matters outside 
copyrightable subject matter no  more than ANY software copyright license 
might.  My reading of Greg's arguments is that he is raising a fundamental 
issue regarding copyright protection of software.  In that regard, you do 
have to accept his arguments to arrive at his conclusion.  For the most 
part, courts have not signed on, but, I guess, that's his point.

-Rod      
------------
Rod Dixon
www.cyberspaces.org

...... Original Message .......
On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:10:37 -0700 "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> 
wrote:
>> 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
>> >
>
>