Aharonian's theory of non-copyrightability of software

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. roddixon at cyberspaces.org
Wed Apr 27 13:30:00 UTC 2005

Greg can defend himself, but some of his arguments are accurate, if you 
trace the historical development of the application of copyright law to 
software (computer programs), which dates as far back as 1967. The initial 
formal application of copyright law to "software" is dominated with 
confusion and inadvertent decisionmaking.  Google the Contu Report for 
exhibit 1.  Moreover, there are numerous law journal articles that 
ostensibly raise points quite similar to Greg's.  At bottom,  most,  but, 
not all, courts have not accepted these arguments when  applying copyright 
law to software. What these implications have for open source software may 
be limited to issues regarding the scope of copyright, but could also mean 
that an open source software copyright license will not reach aspects of 
source code not subject to copyright  -- whether they be deemed methods, 
processes, ideas or matters of fair use.

Rod Dixon

...... Original Message .......
On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 18:03:05 -0700 Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> wrote:
>We've discussed this before. I made it clear that I felt you were
>parsing the cited law incorrectly. Larry independently told you the same
>thing. At this point, you'd have to back your assertions up with real
>cases in order for anyone to take them seriously. Show us a real case
>that has gone through appeal in which a judge has found a Java method to
>be uncopyrightable due to 17 USC 102b. Nobody's willing to buy
>speculation on the future behavior of a judge based upon what seems so
>clearly to be a flawed reading of the law. If you can't show us a case,
>please assume that there is no hope of winning us over, and bring this
>up again when you have better evidence.
>    Thanks
>    Bruce

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