[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: License issue on tiny Javascript fragment

"Ben Finney" <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> wrote in message [🔎] 874oyuq3ki.fsf@benfinney.id.au">news:[🔎] 874oyuq3ki.fsf@benfinney.id.au...
"Joe Smith" <unknown_kev_cat@hotmail.com> writes:

This new version is the very definition of a function too trivial to

That's a pretty strong assertion. The “very definition of” as
defined where? Or what, exactly, are you claiming?

That was intended to be hyperbole. But, surely if any code could reasonably be claimed to be too trivial for copyright protection to apply, that work could.

You also seem to be under the misapprehension that “to copyright” is
something that a creator does to a work. It's not. Instead, copyright
is an automatic monopoly granted *to* the creator; under the Berne
convention, nobody decides “to copyright” a work.

I am well aware of that, but trying to use more accurate phrasing like "too trivial for copyright protection to apply", made the sentence sound awkward. You are of course correct that I should have used better phrasing here.

“Difficult to read” isn't the same thing as “non-creative”. On the
contrary; you have demonstrated that someone can creatively decide on
different creative expressions of the same work, to the extent that
you contrast your expression with one that differs in its uses of
variable names and whitespace.

Yes, but use of the most trivially functional possible version minimizes the amount of creative content.

If I write a phonebook, in which I hand selected the order of names such that they fit an acrostic,
that may very well be be subject to copyright.

But it is well established that the standard alphabetical ordering is purely functional (non-creative).

Moreover, I'm not aware of a valid legal theory that use of variable
names or whitespace have any bearing on whether a particular work is
subject to copyright.

In general no variable names and whitespace should not make a difference, although surely by minimizing the amount of potentially creative content in a work makes it less likely to fall on the side non-trivial, rather than trivial.

Normally only on edge cases should variable names or whitespacing make a difference. However the edge between sufficently creative to subject to copyright protection, and innsufciently creative to be subject to copyright protection is certainly not well defined.

Therefore, for this purpose, it was decided to err on the side of caution.

Reply to: