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Re: License issue on tiny Javascript fragment

Sean Kellogg <skellogg@gmail.com> writes:

> On Sunday 15 February 2009 10:49:17 pm Ben Finney wrote:
> > 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.
> Then you aren't looking very hard. Of course, you already made it
> perfectly clear how you feel about copyright in general, but one of
> the central premises they teach you about copyright law in law
> school is that copyrights can be "thin" or "weak". It's not to say
> that such a work doesn't have a *some* copyright, it is to say that
> one has to work VERY HARD to actually infringe it. Thin copyrights
> generally require verbatim copying to be infringed, where a more
> substantive copyright is easy to infring via derivative work or the
> theory whose name I can't remember that says "you had access to the
> original, so you probably used it as a copy".

That's very interesting. I'm intrigued to know of such a distinction
being taught to copyright law students; it sounds like exactly the
sort of mapping to the real world that would be good to see more of in
these laws.

What basis does this have in the law itself, for those of us without
benefit of such instruction?

> > Given all that, I'd be very wary of taking the above quoted claims
> > as having any meaningful application.
> I must say Ben, you're entire email just drips of hash judgment.

I'm glad Joe took my message in the spirit which I intended, rather
than this mis-reading.

> To Joe, it would be nice if (if you are the original author of the
> clean-room code you provided) to give explicit notice of the license
> you are distributing it under so that Colin Turner (the original
> questioner) can package it up and provide a proper copyright notice.
> Beyond that, thanks for your efforts.

The main point of Joe's message was that he explicitly *doesn't* think
copyright applies to the small Javascript work as he presented it.
What reason, then, would you present for claiming (as you here imply)
that copyright *does* apply to that work?

 \      “The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days |
  `\                        later you're hungry again.” —George Miller |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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