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RE: [dvd-discuss] Eldred v. Ashcroft Accepted for ReviewbySCOTUS

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Zulauf [mailto:johnzu@ia.nsc.com]
> As for software,  with the source unpublished, none of the source work
> is promoting progress yet it is granted copyright protection. 
>  Escrowing
> the source serves two important purposes copyright, patent 
> and antitrust
> suits have the right to discovery of the exact source 
> comprise the base
> work for the published work.  Without this, stolen code (as 
> was the case
> in a recent e-CAD lawsuit) can lurk for years without 
> detection.  Also,
> granting a new copyright on a "mechanically derived" work 
> (compilers are
> not authors) -- requires more than "trust me... it's all 
> new." Further,
> any software patents (evil, but extant) suits need to be able 
> to examine
> the actual implementation.  Finally, the evolution of the escrowed
> source may be critical in determining "intent" in antitrust suits.  As
> secure escrow can protected trade secrets -- however a publication
> requirement of source may actually REDUCE software piracy.  How you
> ask?  If everyone publishes, then it is easy to scan your competitions
> code to ensure none of it was stolen from you -- and vice versa. 
> (actually a whole industry will arise to create and detect 
> automagically
> munged and stolen code -- but if the code mungers have to publish
> *their* source ...

This brings us back again to the difference between copyright
and trade secret.  If you publish your source code, it's protected
under copyright, otherwise it's to be considered as a trade secret
and subject to the protections (and vulnerabilities) thereof.

-Richard M. Hartman

186,000 mi./sec ... not just a good idea, it's the LAW!