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Author Topic: MIT Scholars on Software IP, a middle of the road approach...  (Read 1161 times)
isthisthingon
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« on: November 04, 2009, 09:45:57 AM »

Lots of copyright talk of late.  I read this report and though it's definitely pro-IP protection in nature, it does explain a fundamental problem with current definitions.

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As one example of the conceptual difficulty, consider that, according to the copyright law, software is a “literary work,” but not a “useful object.” While this may regrettably be true for some programs, we suggest it is not, in general, a good description of software. The legal notion of “useful object” is important and instructive: copyright is inherently about the expressive (read artistic) elements in a work, it does not cover the utilitarian elements, that being the domain of patents. To the copyright scholar, a crucial characteristic of software is its creation in the medium of text; the fact that that text happens to do something useful is irrelevant, because useful behavior is explicitly outside the scope of copyright law. This is so in part because the Constitution set the tone of dividing the world into “Science and the useful Arts” believing there are “authors and inventors” each of whom shall have “the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries” (article I, Section 8, italics added). Almost exactly 100 years later, a Supreme Court case (Baker vs. Selden, 1879) made it explicit that copyright and patents were considered as covering mutually exclusive domains, and indicated that copyright can’t cover technology, as that was the intent of patents.

* cacm96.pdf (111.73 KB - downloaded 112 times.)
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I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.
nop_90
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 03:24:45 AM »

Actually that is exactly the problem.
The problem is that you are allowed to patent "algorithms" which should fall into the "Science" category.
So that means I can patent MP3 algorithm for example.

Under the current system, I could patent addition and subtraction.

Lots of copyright talk of late.  I read this report and though it's definitely pro-IP protection in nature, it does explain a fundamental problem with current definitions.
For things like pystar vs apple. Honestly I have no real issue with it.
Yes people give the example about honda cars for example. But I can counter it with communities when u buy a house you agree that you will follow certain terms.
I just find it comical when people justify comical when people have no problem with apple doing underhanded dirty things, while the same people will rant on and on about MS etc.
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