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Re: microsoft vs opensource

On Tue, Mar 04, 2008 at 07:20:04AM +0900, Telaman Consultancies wrote:
> ---- Original Message ----
> From: cothrige@bellsouth.net
> To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
> Subject: Re: microsoft vs opensource
> Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2008 10:52:51 -0600
> >Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net> writes:
> >> Tzafrir Cohen wrote:
> >>> I know about copyrights laws. I know about patent laws. I know
> >about
> >>> trademarks. I know about property laws. I know of contract laws. I
> >>> am not aware of any  intelectual property laws.
> >>>   
> >> "intellectual property law" = patent law + copyright law +
> >trademark
> >> law + some related fields
> >>
> >> These days you see a lot of law firms describe themselves as
> >> "intellectual property practices"
> >
> >I do think the term "intellectual property" is commonly used to
> >describe
> >a large array of legal concepts, but it isn't, AFAIK, a legal term
> >applying to specific laws.  
> It is used internationally, in many languages, enough to be
> understood.
> This applies within the courtroom environment also.
> The only roadblock would appear to be pedantry

Excuse me for being pedant.

> There is copyright law, contract law,
> >patent
> >law, trademark law, and so on, but they are not one and the same and
> >they do not operate together in some manner.  Some have also made
> >some
> >rather convincing arguments, IMO, that these legal concepts above are
> >really too disparate to be clumped together with such an umbrella
> >term
> >at all.
> A quantum leap of some considerable degree.
> Copyright and patent law, in many national environments, are not only
> closely related, but almost indistinguishable.

Right. Lempel, Ziv, Welch, Rivest, Shamir and Adelman are stil alive.
And thus the patents for their works (covering the LZW and RSA
algorithms) has not expired yet.

The copyrights to articles covering those works did expire. After all,
20 years since the work was published.

Therefore we can safely use the content of those articles, as long as we
don't implement those ideas. Or is it the other way around? Or is there
is actually a difference between patents and copyrights?
I guess I need to be more pedant next time.

> This brings an inherent danger as a judgement within the one
> environment may well provide precedent (which all judges employ in
> deciding appropriate penaltys) within the other.
> The ever persistent issue of software patents for example, when
> dealing with programming - which is essentially a language - and
> shouldn't, as a means of transmission of knowledge, even have
> copyright attached to it.

In some enlightened countries it software is not patentable. But in just
about anywhere in the world it is copyrightable.

Tzafrir Cohen         | tzafrir@jabber.org | VIM is
http://tzafrir.org.il |                    | a Mutt's
tzafrir@cohens.org.il |                    |  best
ICQ# 16849754         |                    | friend

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