copyrightable APIs? (was RE: namespace protection compatible wit

John Cowan jcowan at
Fri Apr 20 18:35:50 UTC 2001

Chloe Hoffman wrote:

> I think the real question is not whether an API is copyrightable but how 
> an API is infringed and what is a derivative work of an API.

I agree.

We now know that a house infringes its blueprints, but a cake
does not infringe its recipe, so there is no general answer to
the question "Does an implementation infringe its specification?".

Sounds like Brian is doomed to a life of uncertainty, until there
is a test case.

Disclaimer: IANAL.

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan at>
no more / no less              ||
to do / all things             ||
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein

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