namespace protection compatible with the OSD?

Karsten M. Self kmself at
Mon Apr 23 01:08:47 UTC 2001

on Thu, Apr 19, 2001 at 02:34:22PM -0700, Brian Behlendorf (brian at wrote:
> OK, so we have two new analogies to implementing an API, that of
> "baking a cake from a recipe" and "that of building a house from
> blueprints".  I still think the line between that and "write a novel
> based on a Shakespeare play" is not defined.  

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  Though based on PD works.

Or, for a particularly reflexive example, _Ender's Shadow_ (can an
author plagerize his own work...caselaw says yes, though this was

> What is the relevant case history, especially in the field of
> software?  If we can find a precedent for or against, we have an
> answer w/r/t the likely way a judge would rule.  And, if it's true
> that a copyright on an API can't restrict the rights to implement it,
> then my life becomes a lot easier.  =)

API and GUI reimplementation seems to be generally unobstructed under
copyright.  Apple v. Microsoft, Sega v. Accolade, Lotus v. Borland.
Where copyrighted works have been used in the implmentation, it's been
blocked -- the VMS port of the SAS System comes to mind, early/mid

Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
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