Hypothetical question...

David Johnson arandir at meer.net
Sat Feb 19 07:39:48 UTC 2000

I've suddenly found myself in a curious situation. I don't want to get into
specifics, so I'll present a hypothetical situation.

Let's say I'm writing a new collection class for an STL like library. This
class is meant to be used with the library and would be useless on its own. Now
to create this class, I had to make it follow the library interface. Not being
a programming whiz, I took a peek at the libraries source code to figure out
some basic concepts on what was going on in the library.

Now that I am done, I am going to use the new class in one of my applications.
However, looking over what I have created, it looks rather like the code in the
library (especially since it's polymorphic). If this hypothetical library were
under the GPL would I now have to release my class under the GPL as well? Or if
it were a QPL library could I only distribute my class as a patch?

In other words, have I copied or plagarized from the library? I understand that
one can't copyright an algorithm. However, any decent Array class in C++ is
going to look very similar to most of the other decent Array classes.

David Johnson...

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