Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th Nov 2011 14:18 UTC
Legal The European Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, is kind of on a roll lately. We already discussed how they outlawed generic ISP-side internet filters, and now, in an opinion (so it's not a ruling just yet), Yves Bot, an advocate-general at the Court, has stated that functions provided by computer programs, as well as the programming languages they're written in, do not receive copyright protection. The opinion is very well-written, and relatively easy to read and grasp. Note: Brilliant quote from a comment over at Hacker News: "Copyright makes you write your own code. Patents prevent you from writing your own code."
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rmeyers
Member since:
2009-12-16

One small point of clarification; patents are in fact a monopoly on the expression of an idea, not on the idea itself. At least that's the way it's supposed to work in the USA.

Reply Parent Score: 3

bluebomber Member since:
2011-11-29

One small point of clarification; patents are in fact a monopoly on the expression of an idea, not on the idea itself. At least that's the way it's supposed to work in the USA.


Technically, that's wrong. In the USA, copyright--not patent--covers expressions of ideas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright#Idea-expression_dichotomy_an...), and patents cover inventions and processes. Neither is supposed to monopolize ideas in theory, but in practice they both do all the time.

Reply Parent Score: 5

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

... the expression of an idea, not on the idea itself
Still, most software patents are abstract or trivial for anyone who spent at least 5 seconds on the same problem.

Reply Parent Score: 3