Posts Tagged: "software copyright"

Supplying Legal Notices for Free Software in your Products

This license, like many other Free Software licenses, require a legal notice to be given to the recipient when the software is distributed. Alas, it seems like Intel has not done so and as a result the distribution of Minix 3 inside the recent Intel CPUs could be copyright infringement… How can you pirate Free Software? Simple, if you do not comply with the terms and conditions of a Free Software license, then you have no right to distribute the software… Even though people who create Free Software might not necessarily be interested in monetary compensation, they are however usually interested in being named as the author. This is a right which is also part of copyright law in many jurisdictions.

Copyright Office asked to investigate software copyright issues by Senate Judiciary

At the end of her speech Pallante mentioned that she had just received a letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee, specifically sent by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who Chairs the Committee, and Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The letter from Grassley and Leahy asked the Copyright Office to undertake a study and to report back on a number of software copyright issues. Pallante read a portion of the letter received from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which said: “As software plays an ever increasing role in defining consumer interactions with devices and products, many questions are being asked about how consumers can lawfully use products that rely on software to function.” She then remarked that this inquiry goes away from copyrights merely protecting expressive content, and further pointed out that the Senate is asking about works that are protected by copyright but still functional.

The Software IP Detective: Infringement Detection in a Nutshell

When copying has occurred, much of the code may have changed by the time it’s examined due to the normal development process or to disguise the copying. For example identifiers may have been renamed, code reordered, instructions replaced with similar instructions, and so forth. However, perhaps one comment remains the same and it’s an unusual comment. Or a small sequence of critical instructions is identical. Correlation is designed to produce a relatively high value based on that comment or that sequence, to direct the detective toward that similarity. If correlation were simply a percentage of copied lines, the number could be small and thus missed entirely among the noise of normal similarities that occur in all programs.

Why All Small Businesses Need Software Patents

The reason giant companies hate patent trolls is because they are not capable of being counter-sued. There is no deterrent effect because patent trolls do not make, use or sell anything, they just sue. So giant companies are targets in the same way that smaller companies without patents are targets of big companies with patents. No one should aspire to be a target. A simple truth is that a small business without patents might as well dress themselves up as a buck during hunting season complete with a bulls-eye pre-drawn. So here is the case for every business to get patents, particularly software patents. Ignore it if you like, but you do so at your own peril.