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Re: [dvd-discuss] Inspiration or infringement

On Thursday 20 December 2001 08:43, you wrote:
# Hello... This comes more from a programming perspective.
# I'd posted a message a few days ago on a smalltalk list asking if anyone
# knew how VW (a commercial proprietary smalltalk implementation) worked.
# I was hoping to borrow a few tricks for when working on a different
# (libre) implementation, squeak.
# Someone there, mentioned that I would be a fool to do this, it would open
# me up to liability and even jail time.
# That inspired me to think on the issue some more...
# What is inspiration, and what is 'evil copyright infringement'.

What you're pointing to is the already-discussed matter of copyright
being treated as patent.  For instance, the Castle Wolfenstein
copyright would amount to a patent on all FPS games, the Larry
Poter comic would amount to a patent on stories about young
magicians, and the Muggles comic would amount to a trademark
on the word "Muggle."

The big upside, of course, is that patent applicants must pay substantial
fees, survive a "new and useful" review, and expire after a while.
Trademarks must be novel, defended, and (usually) registered.  This
"Berne Patent" has none of these liabilities: it's automatic, free, and
only expires (if at all) after a century or so.

| I'm old enough that I don't have to pretend to be grown up.|
+----------- D. C. Sessions <dcs@lumbercartel.com> ----------+