Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: Chad Perrin <>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 18:01:44 -0600
Wed, 7 Sep 2011 18:01:44 -0600
On Wed, Sep 07, 2011 at 11:55:38PM +0000, Thorsten Glaser wrote:
> John Cowan <cowan <at>> writes:
> > Thorsten Glaser scripsit:
> > >
> > > Hm, so translating into another language is enough? (That is not a
> > > big problem in the IT realm…)
> > 
> > I was thinking of translation by hand from and into a natural
> > language, which always involves creativity.
> I was thinking manually translating from, say, Perl into C.

Frankly, I'm not sure a court of law would be able to prove it was a
translation rather than a brand new work.  In any case, as long as the
destination was idiomatic code for that language, rather than "writing
Perl in C", that seems pretty "original" overall to me.  Match the naming
conventions, code organization, and syntactic preferences for community
"best practices" for the target language, and all you're really copying
in the vast majority of cases is the algorithm.  Algorithms are not, to
my knowledge, subject to copyright anywhere.  Just be wary of patents, in
that case.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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