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Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 09:55:18 -0500

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message 85tz7hxn00.fsf@lola.goethe.zz">news:85tz7hxn00.fsf@lola.goethe.zz...
"amicus_curious" <> writes:

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message
"amicus_curious" <> writes:

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message
"amicus_curious" <> writes:

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message

Try reading the GPL sometime.

Well, is it valid?

That's entirely the choice of the recipient.  If he considers it
invalid, he does not have a license, and has to behave accordingly. If he considers it valid, he has a license granted under terms. As long as
he heeds the terms, there is nothing to fear for him.

Well, that is your opinion certainly, but it begs the question.  Is
there any requirment to honor a copyright asserted for something that
has no commercial value?  Is such a copyright valid at all?

Certainly.  I can't break into a house and steal arbitrary things
without commercial value.  Ownership is not dependent on monetary

You keep trying to change the venue from copyright to something else.

You keep trying to change the topic from copyright to money.

Even so, if you steal nothing of value, you are not prosecuted to the
extent that you might be if you qualify for grand larceny.

Since when is the punishment of robbery made dependent on its success?

Since we got rid of the Europeans.

That is set as a dollar amount.

It is much easier to see that source for something that has commercial
value, say Windows itself, is a protected work since the value is not
disputed.  But if it, like Linux, is not sold for a profit

Huh?  How do you suppose RedHat is making a living?

Providing support for people unable to get Linus to work by itself
apparently.  Basically it is engineering by the pound.  Or hour if you

Well, seems like appearances are deceiving to you.

and, worse, the only people making money from it are those who are
being paid to make it work for some client, it is not so clear.

Nonsense.  Copyright is attached to a work, not to its price tag.

But is it a "work"?  With nothing unique or artistic, can source

If there is nothing unique in it, there would be no incentive to copy,
would it?

It is like a phone book. It is an aggregation of stuff that is conveniently found in one place which saves some routine labor in compiling yourself..

You cannot copyright the contents of a telephone book, for example.

Since when?  Databases can be copyrighted, and particularly telephone
book copycats have been sued out of business here.

The contents, silly. The analogy is that you can copyright the binary but not the source.

Or a recipe for pork and beans.

Tell that to the recipe book publishers.

You seem to have a gap in your education in regard to copyrights vs patents vs trade secrets. The ideas contained in a copyrighted work are not protected. So how many ways can an idea be expressed in software and can any of them be considered an artistic work for the purposes of copyright? If, say, there is a table of values published for decoding, say EBCDIC to ASCII, and I obtain the GPL source to a program containing code that returns an ASCII value for an EBCDIC value passed in, can I copy it without fear? I am sure that I can. What is your opinion?

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