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Re: A question about converting code to another programming language

Florian Weimer wrote:
> * Arnoud Engelfriet:
> > If the transformation from Fortran to C involves creative activity,
> > then the person who did the transformation may hold a copyright in
> > the C-version. Compare a translation from French to English of a
> > book. If it's just a literal translation, then the translator has
> > no copyright. 
> "Literal" in this context means simple word substition, not the usual
> sense of "literal translation".  If the original work is
> copyrightable, the translation very likely is as well.

Agreed, and in the vast majority of the cases the translation is
a creative work. A babelfish translation would be a literal

> > If the original program infringes on a patent, then the
> > transformed program will also infringe. Patents cover
> > functionality, not specific programs. 
> It's possible that the patent refers to specific FORTRAN constructs,
> such as storage layout of arrays, or syntactic elements of the
> language.  This may bite you in the other direction, too.

Perhaps, but I've never seen a patent like that. 


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

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