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Re: Re: Re: What if it were you instead of Linus?

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Mar 11, 2004 at 23:10 UTC ( #336019=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Re: What if it were you instead of Linus?
in thread What if it were you instead of Linus?

There is a concept in copyright law of a minimum size below which something cannot have been a copyrightable work.

Can you point me to any statute indicating this?

There is a concept in the practical management of many projects that any patch below, say, 10 lines can be merged without worrying about copyright issues. I do not know of any court that has ruled this to be the case, though. And I don't recall seeing any lawyer comment definitively either way on it.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: What if it were you instead of Linus?
by theorbtwo (Prior) on Mar 12, 2004 at 06:26 UTC

    Well, that's a very good question. Like I said, IANAL. I thought the GNU web site would be a good place to start looking, but I only found this. It repeats my concept of too-small-to-be-copyrightable, with some additional information, but does not give any information as to where this is encoded in the law (but I doubt the GNU project would say it was OK if it were not encoded in law). It also mentions that bug reports of the sort that PM was worried about are ideas, not code, and thus copyright does not apply to them. (Patents might, but they're pretty clearly obvious, and more importantly, things are not automaticly patented per default the way that they are automaticly copyrighted.)

    Googling from there has gotten me nowhere. Sorry.

    Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

      I think that's case law, not statute. It may be that you'll never find any documentation of that "law" aside from something that starts out "foo v. bar".

      print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
      - apotheon
      CopyWrite Chad Perrin

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