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Re: IRAF component relicensed

On Sun, Dec 19, 2004 at 03:45:40PM -0500, Justin Pryzby wrote:
> This is probably hotly debated, but how do math-algorthm copyrights
> work?

Articles about mathematics, and specific expressions of algorithms,
are copyrightable, but the concepts aren't.

In the U.S. 17 USC 102 states:

   In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship
   extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation,
   concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it
   is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

In international law, article 2 of the Berne convention states:

   It shall, however, be a matter for legislation in the countries of the
   Union to prescribe that works in general or any specified categories
   of works shall not be protected unless they have been fixed in some
   material form.

Which I think meant that the rules could vary from country to country.
However, WIPO has since come out and stated (in article 2 of the treaty):

   Copyright protection extends to expressions and not to ideas,
   procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such.

Is that clear enough?


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