CyberTech Rambler

September 27, 2010

Bet you don’t know that

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 4:59 pm

I bet a lot of developers, including me of course, did not know that we have the latitude to replicate programs as discussed in “Developers like their free reign on functionality

Don’t really know whether the reason is my English is not as good as native English even though I lived in UK for the last 14 years, but that title from ContractorUK sounds patronizing. We developers, just like everyone else,  have our fair share of like anything that is free. But given the context of the story, i.e. SAS lose a court battle against World Programming Ltd, the title makes it sounds like we shouldn’t be expecting this or, given that the court upheld WPL’s right to replicate SAS functionalities, shouldn’t be given this”free reign”. I now have the obligation to add that the article itself is not patronizing at all. My believe is the editor is trying to sex up the article, which is unfortunate.

This is an old  case by internet time standard. I remember it from reading the web, including this one. The case was decided in late July and the full judgment can be found here.

Nonetheless, the bottom line is how many people knows that in UK under copyright laws, using manuals to replicate functions is not a copyright violation? I know it sounds like common sense, but common sense is not the same as legally permissible. The icing in the cake is that programming languages, interfaces and functionality are, subject to confirmation by European Courts, not protected by copyrights in the UK.

Does it means we developers can breath easy now? Not a bit. Copyrights law might not bite us, but other laws might. Even supposing that what you do does not violate any law of the land, that is not going to stop the other parties from launching frivolous lawsuit against you to get you to go away or to create obstruction for you.

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