Re: GPL, yet again. (The kernel is a lot like a shared library)
Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> I will grant you Lawrence Lessig even though a few minutes' Googling
Quite refreshing. ;-)
Similar concerns from an another lawyer:
What composes a derivative work of software under copyright law
is one of almost complete opacity. Add that to the ambiguous
language of the GPL, referring only in part to derivative works,
and the result is absolute opacity, or in your words, absolute
vagueness, or in Lessig's words, insane complexity.
Is the SFLC going to legally clarify this issue of "derivative",
especially in cases where they raise the spectre of criminal
infringement charges? Will the SFLC create some guidelines do
provide notice which combinations are subject to copyright and
which ones are per-empted by patents?
I doubt so. They like using copyright laws that help their cause
(102a), and like ignoring copyright laws that hurt their cause
(102b). After all, ignoring the law is one thing anarchists like.
To quote Eben Moglen:
This use of intellectual property rules to create a commons
in cyberspace is the central institutional structure enabling
the anarchist triumph.
I would like to know why law-abiding companies like IBM and Intel,
which fund the OSDL which funds the SFLC, why such law-abiding
companies are funding those espousing anarchist goals? Are they
going to create a defense fund for software pirates next - pirates
are anarchists as well?
Seriously (apropos "per-empted by patents"), see also
(The Case against Copyright Protection of Non-literal
Elements of Computer Software)
Altai has been viewed as a landmark decision as it incorporates
many traditional principles of copyright law into a single
analytical framework seemingly suitable for computer software.
However, when honestly applied, the abstraction-filtration-
comparison test eliminates protection for computer programs by
entirely filtering out not only the individual elements of
computer programs such as software objects but also the
compilation of selection and arrangement expression that is the
program's structure, since both are designed with efficiency in
It is more appropriate to consider the software objects of a
computer program as analogous to the gears, pulleys, and levers
of a mechanical invention, as by its very nature, the design of
computer software is intended to optimize functionality by
making a program run faster, use less memory, or be easier for
the programmer to modify. When viewed as a collection of
software objects combined in such a way as to optimally perform
various tasks, the design of computer software closely
resembles the design of functional devices protected by patent
law rather than the non-functional, non-literal elements of
creative authorial works protected under copyright law.