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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Function isn't the right word to be using
by Kalessin on Wed 30th Nov 2011 21:37 UTC
Kalessin
Member since:
2007-01-18

I wish that the term "function" weren't use in this article as it is. It's just plain confusing to a programmer. "Functionality" would be far better - and it is used some of the time in the article, but not all the time. Functions - as the term is use by programmers - are copyrightable, because they're concrete source code. Functionality, on the other hand, is not copyrightable, and it's good to see that the courts are showing some good sense in that regard.

Reply Score: 2

obsidian Member since:
2007-05-12

Functions are copyrightable?

Maybe *some* are - the functions that someone writes themselves. However, I'd be a bit concerned if someone tried to copyright the sqr() function or the trig functions. I don't think there's much chance of that though.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

Those functions are not original. They're also pretty much pure math. So, of course they aren't copyrightable. But functions in general are copyrightable or source code in general isn't copyrightable, because source code is made up primarily of functions.

Reply Parent Score: 2