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From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-06-27 13:16:01

At 10:27 PM 6/26/2003, Howard Hinnant wrote:

>On Thursday, June 26, 2003, at 07:51 PM, Beman Dawes wrote:
>> A copyright, unlike a patent, just applies to the actual
>> representation. So unless another implementation actually made a
>> literal copy of the Boost code, the other implementation would not be
>> a derived work of the Boost code and so would not have to follow the
>> Boost license.
>Thanks Beman. That was most informative and useful.

Well, do ask a lawyer if you've got any serious copyright questions.

The real world is messy. For example, there have been cases (including some
involving software) where the copyrighted work wasn't physically copied,
but the courts still ruled infringement had occurred. The cases I'm aware
of were (1) a book which used the same characters, plot, and many important
other aspects as the copyrighted work, (2) a photograph which was set up to
mimic a famous copyrighted photo in every respect, and (3) a software
program which used the same organization, functional decomposition,
algorithms, variable names, etc, etc, etc, as a copyrighted program. In the
case of the program, the same programmer wrote the first program for one
company, and then moved to another company. Although no physical copy of
the source code was involved, the programmer had a good memory, and
basically just duplicated the prior effort.


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