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Re: Debian-installer, older hardware, boot loaders, miboot & amiboot & ..

On Wed, Mar 31, 2004 at 02:00:46PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> Notice that it is very probable that Apple will probably in this case not
> assert copyright on this bit of obsolet code.

That's not the way I'd bet.  U.S. corporations tend to jealously guard
everything they possibly can, and grasp for everything else.

> Do we know someone at apple who may wish to comment on this stuff ? 

Good question; I do not.

> Well, can you copyright the usage instructions of a care (like open the
> door, sit, but your belt on, insert the key, push cloach and a bit of
> accelerator and then turn the key, ...).

Sure.  If we independently come up with our set of instructions, and
persuasively illustrate that our creation *was* independent, there's no
problem here, and to credible threat of copyright infringement.

> > For example, in the U.S., you cannot copyright your filled-out income
> > tax return.
> > 
> > Of course, I speak of the U.S. only.  In other jurisdictions, it may be
> > possible to assert a copyright on, for instance, the sequence of prime
> > numbers smaller than 100, in increasing order.
> Well, probably, but as i believe some over 2000 year old dead greek has
> the copyright over this, ...

A) Copyright as a concept only stretches back to widespread use of the
   printing press.
B) I know of no jurisdiction in the world that has retroactively applied
   copyright to anything antedating publication of the Gutenburg Bible.

> And in sensible legislations, you cannot copyright algorithms, not the
> result thereof, so ...

Generally true; software patents are used for that instead.

> > Whether we need to be worried about other jurisdictions is a question I
> > will leave to others, as I'm only willing to play armchair lawyer with
> > respect to U.S. law.
> Well, the US are mostly the most restrictive (unreasonable) juridiction
> on this kind of issues, so ...

That's not my experience.  The U.S. is very aggressive about extending
the duration of copyrights, and deserves to be criticized for that, but
it is far from the worst offender with respect to the *breadth* of
copyright.  In the U.S., we have consumer protections such as the "right
of first sale" and "fair use" written into our laws and upheld in the
courts.  Standing Supreme Court precedent in _Feist v. Rural Telephone
Service Company_ also prohibits the application of copyright to factual
data (as well as simple collections of factual data).[1]

As I understand it, the U.K., for example, has none of the above, and
many European jurisdictions recognize droit d'auteur, which -- rightly
or wrongly -- imposes further restrictions on what end-users can do with
the works of others.

[1] It's worth noting that every session of Congress since _Feist_ was
decided has seen bills introduced that attempt to extend copyright to
mere collections of facts.  To date, such bills have not passed,

G. Branden Robinson                |    Freedom is kind of a hobby with me,
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    and I have disposable income that
branden@debian.org                 |    I'll spend to find out how to get
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    people more of it. -- Penn Jillette

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