Fabien's open letter to the community

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JuLieN
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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by JuLieN » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:59 pm

hgm wrote: It does not seem to refer to any specific country of residence.
I just checked on GNU's website to get a definitive answer, as a good debate can only take place on a solid ground, and got the confirmation that it's the local copyright law that matters :

Code: Select all

How do I get a copyright on my program in order to release it under the GPL?
Under the Berne Convention, everything written is automatically copyrighted from whenever it is put in fixed form. So you don't have to do anything to “get” the copyright on what you write—as long as nobody else can claim to own your work.

However, registering the copyright in the US is a very good idea. It will give you more clout in dealing with an infringer in the US.
Source : http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.htm ... tCopyright

There's something funny with the way this answer is written : it seems to imply that the USA gave up their exception of registration. It would be interesting if someone who knows the american copyright law well enough could enlighten us on that matter.
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Gian-Carlo Pascutto
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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by Gian-Carlo Pascutto » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:01 pm

JuLieN wrote: It appears that I teach my students about this very law, and that you made a little misunderstanding, Gian-Carlo :)
A misunderstanding? You made a claim that inspired works are problematic due to French copyright law, and I pointed out the exact European Council directive that says computer programs are not affected by this.

You then go on to confirm that I am right:
Both systems have their logics and plus/minus sides. But they DO are different. Still today.

Now, regarding the copyright laws for computer programs, in Europe, things are a bit different as, since the 80ies, most European countries (and this 1991 european directive tells the same story)...
Now, YOU are the one that said this:
For instance, in Europe we have a very different system. And in our systems, "inspired work" is punishable.
And I just showed you that this is not true for computer programs, which is what we are talking about. So tell me, who is misunderstanding things here?

If you have some good argument as to why a computer program that just borrows ideas from another one is illegal in France, please show so.
Last edited by Gian-Carlo Pascutto on Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sylwy
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Re: A bit of history

Post by Sylwy » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:01 pm

Vasik Rajlich about Strelka 2.0:

http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforu ... l?tid=3006

:roll: S :roll:
Last edited by Sylwy on Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by Gian-Carlo Pascutto » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:06 pm

JuLieN wrote: There's something funny with the way this answer is written : it seems to imply that the USA gave up their exception of registration. It would be interesting if someone who knows the american copyright law well enough could enlighten us on that matter.
It is not required to register copyright, but:

- Copyright registration is required before you can initiate legal action to enforce it

- Copyright registration makes you eligible for a claim of statutory damages, which tends to be more severe (and easier) than proving actual damages
Last edited by Gian-Carlo Pascutto on Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Albert Silver
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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by Albert Silver » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:06 pm

tomgdrums wrote:
Albert Silver wrote:
tomgdrums wrote:Well, it looks like I am going to have to delete Rybka 3 and Rybka 4 from my computer. I am not being facetious either.

On principle I have stayed away from the Ipps and Houdini and now to stay principled I am not going to be able to continue using Rybka.

Makes me sad, but that is the way it is.

(it actually makes me a little angry as well since I paid for Rybka...I wonder if I can get my money back?)
I don't agree. Even in a worst case scenario, where there is incontrovertible proof of wrong-doing, the buyer who acted in good faith is never legally or ethically liable.

Suppose, for example, that Intel is proven today to have ignored patents owned by some guy on key components in the CPU you have in your machine. Is your only ethically correct course to remove the CPU and toss it out the window? Of course not. The guy (in this hypothetical situation) can sue and get his due and that is that. Whatever money you the buyer spent that went to the wrong person would be redirected via the legal system. This burden of responsibility assuredly does not fall upon the buyer.


Well a CPU is a much more high dollar investment and therefore it is rarer for things to get THAT far because of all the money involved.
You should read the tech news more often. It happens ALL the time and still does. Microsoft, Intel, nVidia, and others are constantly being sued for exactly these reasons and have been found guilty and forced to pay up.
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JuLieN
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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by JuLieN » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:10 pm

Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:
JuLieN wrote: It appears that I teach my students about this very law, and that you made a little misunderstanding, Gian-Carlo :)
A misunderstanding? You made a claim that inspired works are problematic due to French copyright law, and I pointed out the exact European Council directive that says computer programs are not affected by this.

You then go on to confirm that I am right:
Both systems have their logics and plus/minus sides. But they DO are different. Still today.

Now, regarding the copyright laws for computer programs, in Europe, things are a bit different as, since the 80ies, most European countries (and this 1991 european directive tells the same story)...
Now, YOU are the one that said this:
For instance, in Europe we have a very different system. And in our systems, "inspired work" is punishable.
And I just showed you that this is not true for computer programs, which is what we are talking about. So tell me, who is misunderstanding things here?
I think we both are misunderstanding each others, Gian Carlo :) You are right pointing out that I was merely talking about general copyright law, not the one applied to computer programs, so I ended up saying the same thing that you when I later focused on computer programs. ^^

But when I said you were misunderstanding I was talking about the way you used the term "copyright law", as it seemed to me that you used it as if it was the American one, not taking into account that this notion is localized. But I might have been under a false impression :)

Please let's keep this debate cool : I hate to be under the impression that I might have upset someone and as for me I tend to back off when I feel that people become too passionate. Just trying to help. :)
Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:
JuLieN wrote: There's something funny with the way this answer is written : it seems to imply that the USA gave up their exception of registration. It would be interesting if someone who knows the american copyright law well enough could enlighten us on that matter.
It is not required to register copyright, but:

- Copyright registration is required to initiate legal action to enforce it
- Copyright registration makes you eligible for a claim of statutory damages, which tends to be more severe than proving actual damages
Thanks for this insight. :) This is a major difference with the systems we have in Europe : no need to register a work to get ones rights enforced, here. BUT as a result you have to prove you're the first creator of the work, while in the US the registration date is the easy proof.
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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by slobo » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:25 pm

Sylwy wrote:
JuLieN wrote:@HGM
Allow me to be a bit parodic, and don't take it bad. :)

It is really remarkable how everyone tries to twist facts to confirm their own point of view. Are they unable to read, or do they suppose that others are not able to read, so they can get away with posting any nonsense they want? :roll:

As a service to the dyslectic, I repeat the qoute of Fabien with some bold-face highlighting of mine:
Fabien Letouzey wrote:The short answer was "no", it was not a verbatim copy of the source code. All the code had been typed (can't say "designed" though, see below) by an individual. So legally there was no issue that I knew of. It was however a whole re-write (copy with different words if you like, similar to a translation) of the algorithms. Not just an extraction of a couple of ideas as is common, and normal.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Sylwy,

you should not laugh at him. Perhaps he suffers from dyslexia and in this case we shouldn´t expose him to ridicule because of it.
"Well, I´m just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord, please don´t let me be misunderstood."

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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by Gian-Carlo Pascutto » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:30 pm

JuLieN wrote: But when I said you were misunderstanding I was talking about the way you used the term "copyright law", as it seemed to me that you used it as if it was the American one, not taking into account that this notion is localized. But I might have been under a false impression :)
I've been involved in a situation (in France!) once where a derived work, created from something published with a fairly free license permitting modification, was infringing moral rights because it was defamatory for the original author.

So yes, I'm aware the differences exist. In the US the above would have been a non-issue, but in France, it's more complicated. (And I certainly don't claim to know all possible nuances in the above scenario)

Now back to on-topic:

The directive I quoted earlier comes directly out of some reports from German scholars studing how the GPL applies in Europe, which you can find here: http://www.ifross.org/
And that only makes me agree even more with all doctrinal articles I read that said that most free software licenses have nearly no legal strength.
There are clearly also articles (and cases!) showing the opposite. In case of the GPL, the basis is that even if the GPL is not "valid" in that jurisdiction, local copyright law simply applies. The latter does usually have quite some legal strength. That's why I agreed with you that the GPL doesn't have so much bearing on this whole Fruit/Rybka case: The GPL obviously isn't being followed, so what is left is just a copyright violation.

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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by bob » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:41 pm

Graham Banks wrote:
M ANSARI wrote:Somehow I feel I understand the post differently than others. It seems like Fabien is "asking" about several allegations and wants to be up to date on what the allegations are ... nothing I read says anything about confirming anything..........
This is also how I see it at this stage.
Fabien is asking for further information and will then need time to study what is required before he can make some definitive statements on the issue.
I think it's great that Fabien has chosen to get involved and I sincerely hope that Vas will have his say too (if required).
Apparently you can't read. His comments are pretty succinct IMHO. See the sentence about identical procedure names, etc...

Of course, this is nothing new to those of us that looked and listened in the first place...

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slobo
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Re: Fabien's open letter to the community

Post by slobo » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:42 pm

hgm wrote:
Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:But it seems the original copyright holder DOES CARE. What he believes certainly matters; it's the only way something can happen on the legal front.
Sure. But if in his opinion there is no legal case, that would pretty much kill the fun before it has even begun, right?
Not at all, HGM. We don´t need any legal process ("in the Hague court") to know the truth: we already know it. The legal process may be the next step, or not. It may happen or not. But it is another problem, because Fabien and Mr Rybka may make a deal and be happy with it. Who knows?

But, what matters for us is: we know what has happened: who was the original author and who was the author of a derivative thing + a good "businessman".
"Well, I´m just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord, please don´t let me be misunderstood."

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