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Re: European Directive on Copyright Law (91/EC/250) wrt open source

MJ Ray wrote:
> On 2004-05-03 19:41:30 +0100 Arnoud Engelfriet <galactus@stack.nl> 
> wrote:
> >For example, consider Microsoft licensing its standard libraries
> >under GPL.
> People fork them and create competition?

No, people would be forced to license their work under GPL or
develop alternative standard libraries. And since MS has a
dominant position, that alternative is not commercially feasible.
So it would be the proprietary software people who would object.

> >Article 2: Protection in accordance with this Directive shall apply
> >to the expression in any form of a computer program. Ideas and
> >principles which underlie any element of a computer program,
> >including those which underlie its interfaces, are not protected by
> >copyright under this Directive.
> Ideas and principles are not copyrightable ever, are they? They are 
> the wrong side of the idea-expression boundary. Copyright only covers 
> expressions.

That's what this Directive says, yes. But apparently they felt
it necessary to spell it out. Just to be safe, perhaps? European
law wasn't as developed as US law by this time (1991).

I don't think all European countries use the idea/expression
approach. Or at least not the same way the USA does.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/

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