[thelist] When does "bought code" become your own ?

Rory.Plaire at wahchang.com Rory.Plaire at wahchang.com
Fri May 18 14:17:33 CDT 2001


Actually, this is highly complex. The article that Joshua sent to the list
is informative of the process that courts use to determine the
substantiality of the derivative work based on another, whether or not its
purposes, potentials in the market and nature of the context, work and/or
medium countenance a violation of copyright. For software, this seems to be
vague at best, where common knowledge, modularity and engineering philosophy
of software (esp. OO components) push the limits of our understanding of
what is derivation. Perhaps the burgeoning field of providing information
will flood ideas into the public domain to the extent that what is now
thought proprietary will later be considered obvious and common knowledge.


<tip type="Fair Use Copyright">
Generally, the doctrine of fair use can be applied if it can be considered
news reporting, commentary, teaching, research and scholarship, criticism or
transformation. It also must meet well with the following four criteria.

1. Character of Use (educational, non-profit or money-making?)
2. Nature of Original Work (Factual or Creative, Expressive?)
3. Amount of Use (Small Amount or Large Amount?)
4. Effect on Marketability (Doesn't Take from Market or Infringes on Market
of Original Work?)

The last item is one most heavily scrutinized by courts. If any work is
copied in entirety, even for one of the above named purposes, it is
infringement, since the author is loosing due recompense through loss of
income from the copyrighted work. This means that even if you copy an entire
CD or even song for personal or educational uses, it is NOT fair use.

This only applies to copyrighted works, where the owner does not yet give
permission to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform,
display, transfer ownership, rent or lend her or his creations. If
permission is granted, then the fair use doctrine is superseded and not
applicable. This is the case with Open Source and public domain stuff.

yours in service,

"All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.
... Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion
and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth." --

-----Original Message-----
From: bradclark1 [mailto:bradclark1 at msn.com]
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2001 12:56 PM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: Re: [thelist] When does "bought code" become your own ?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joshua OIson" <joshua at alphashop.net>
Subject: Re: [thelist] When does "bought code" become your own ?

> Off the top of my head, I think I remember something about a 30% code
> difference is enough to differentiate two different          > programs.

I read the same thing somewhere also. To me you are saying you used it as a
base and went from there. A ton of high quality software out there says the
same thing.
What you can do is add a comment in the script somewhere and say its based
on this other program. That way you are being upright about it.
If you changed it approximately fifty percent I'd say you don't have
anything to worry about.
My two cents.


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