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Re: Interesting Licensing Issue -- Crafty

Paul Serice writes:
> I think as it stands now, if a hidden Crafty clone is competing in a
> tournament, both Prof. Hyatt and tournament sponsers cannot do much about
> it.

The tournement sponsors can change their rules.  For example, they can
require all entries to be free software.

> If a clause that requires the clone to expose itself exists and is
> violated, then Prof. Hyatt will have grounds for demanding that the
> tournament stop running the program.

How will he find out?

> It's not so much about an honor system amongst thieves; rather, its about
> an honor system amongst those who fear the legitimate threat of a
> lawsuit.

Is he making money selling and/or competing his program or has he
registered his copyright?  If not is he prepared to spend tens of thousands
of dollars and years of time to get a judgement that tells the infringer
"Don't do that"?

> I believe you are saying the author can require a different name to be
> used but cannot specify that name?


> Of course, the paragraph in question doesn't literally say what you want
> it to say either.

It is the Debian Free Software *Guidelines*.  That paragraph was put there
for Tex and Perl.  I think I have a pretty good idea of its intent.

> Furthermore, suppose Prof. Hyatt wanted to require all clones to use a
> different version number.  Could Prof. Hyatt, as per paragraph 4, specify
> the versioning scheme to be used?  If so, instead of using version
> numbers, a reasonable reading of the paragraph is that Prof. Hyatt could
> use version tags.

Please re-read para. 4, especially the two sentences in parenthesis at the
end.  Debian only grudgingly permits clauses that require that the name be
changed.  I don't think that one that specifies exactly what it must be
changed to would be accepted.

> I really don't know exact where the lines of demarcation are for what is
> and is not a derived work.

There is no line of demarcation.  If I include any of your work in mine I
have infringed your copyright (fair use does not apply here).

> My guess is that for the situation above most reasonable people,
> including Prof. Hyatt, would be happy to see the program in question with
> its own name.

But the kid slaving away in his basement over his chess program has no idea
what Prof. Hyatt might be happy with or if he is reasonable.  He knows only
what the license says.

> Another good question that has no bright-line rule is when does the
> original work become a derived work.  I doubt changing two or three
> inconsequential lines does the trick,...

It does.  The clone author owns the copyright on those lines.  Dr.  Hyatt
owns the copyright on the rest.  The result is a mixture of two works: a
derivative.  Copyright makes no judgements as to what is or isn't
consequential.  Otherwise everything Hollywood has produced in the last 50
years would be in the public domain.
John Hasler                This posting is in the public domain.
john@dhh.gt.org		   Do with it what you will.
Dancing Horse Hill         Make money from it if you can; I don't mind.
Elmwood, Wisconsin         Do not send email advertisements to this address.

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