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Re: Bug#247802: ITP: libfasttrack-gift -- giFT plugin for the fastrack network

Dan Weber wrote:
> Specifically, I recall someone saying that the algorithm used by Sherman
> Networks is Copyrighted.  Even though the upstream is reverse
> engineering it, I don't think its legal to use.

Algorithms can't be copyrighted, only specific implementations of an
algorithm.  Algorithms can (unfortunately) be patented, and this would
have the effect you describe (prohibiting independent recreations), but
I don't know if the FastTrack algorithms are patented.  In every case I
have seen about a FastTrack-compatible program being shut down, the
program in question copied code directly from Sherman Networks' popular
client for that network, and the question of patent issues never came up.

- Josh Triplett

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