[thelist] Open source licensing and web development

M. Seyon evoltlist at delime.com
Tue Oct 26 20:38:30 CDT 2004

Message from Kasimir K (10/26/2004 07:44 PM)

>So is "the Program" just one script, or the entire system?
>I imagine that if I wrote C code, it would be easy to say if I've used 
>another program in mine or not. But somehow this seems to be less clear 
>when I write PHP.

I don't know, I suppose it depends on how much code you wrote? Would you 
copyright the C code that did the equivalent of printing "Hello world"?

>Is the web just inherently more complex when it comes to copyright issues?

Yes. I don't think the original drafters of the copyright laws really had 
the Internet in mind when they were doing their thing, and current 
lawmakers haven't quite gotten up to speed, it's really only been 10 years 
after all, on really understanding and acting on the implications of the 
Internet to copyright in the future.

I recently came across this book on Amazon - Copyright in Historical 
Perspective by Lyman Ray Patterson, ISBN 0826513735. I haven't read it yet 
but it certainly looks interesting.

Also regarding your comment in an earlier email:

>So any of the html documents the visitors access would be beyond my 
>licences, as I did not create them, but my client did. Is this correct?

No, I don't think that's at all correct. If Ford builds the machine that 
builds its cars but didn't necessarily build the cars, does that mean they 
don't own the rights to the cars?

I guess if you want to find a specific technical argument for why you do 
actually have rights to the html documents you could delve into the 
"derivative works" aspects of copyright.

That said, as in most matters legal, I really don't think bringing your 
questions to thelist for a definitive answer is the wisest decision. This 
isn't to slight any member of the list, but law can be a very arcane field 
and it's always best to get advice from an actual lawyer, licenced to 
practise law in your part of the world and specialising in your area of 
interest. If only because we're a very geographically diverse list and your 
laws may not necessarily be mine, or anyone else's.


Trinidad Carnival in all its photographic glory. Playyuhself.com

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