Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] Legal problem with Stackoverflow contribution under the "Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0" license
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-02-20 08:24:55

>> That was the jury's verdict in the first case. The judge overrode that
>> in a ruling which can be read at
>> In that he lays out the
>> many cases where copyright cannot be infringed on a snippet, and the
>> importance of originality as far as copyright is concerned.
> The judge most certainly did not override the jury on the rangeCheck issue.
> And that opinion you cite - dealing with the copyrightability of APIs
> - is overturned on appeal.

The Appeal was to overturn the judge's original overriding of the jury's
decision, and to put things back to the haphazard way the jury found
them. The judge's original verdict text which I linked to is the main
contribution to case law and precedent. He is one of America's leading
experts on computer IP law, indeed I believe he programs himself. His
summary text will be used in all legal arguments relating to computer IP
going forth. The fact his judgment was overturned etc is relatively
unimportant, as it related to how he implemented legal process, not his
legal arguments in summarising the case.

Anyway, as interesting as all this is, this is why Boost is part of the
Software Freedom Conservancy who employ lawyers specifically for
questions of this nature. The only reason that my specific use of SO
snippets was noticed is because I added a comment regarding them. All
other use of SO snippets are by definition uncommented, and are not
being noticed. That makes them far more dangerous and pernicious if my
understanding of copyright law is wrong.

If Boost feels that this is a problem, the SFC lawyers should be asked
and on the basis of their advice, the page at should be updated to
specifically give advice on the use of small, non-standalone code
snippets such as from StackOverflow. A commercial program which
identifies code snippets borrowed from the internet should be employed
to scan the Boost source code, and all infringements fixed.

I throw the problem back to you, boost-steering.


ned Productions Limited Consulting

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at