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RE: tlug: RMS and Amazon...
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- Subject: RE: tlug: RMS and Amazon...
- From: "Frank Bennett" <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 12:22:36 +0900
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>Scott M. Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote: > >I feel really happy that I don't know what the hula burger was :-) I >bet it wasn't illegal to copy it, though. After all, some fast food >joint was the first to bring out a bacon cheeseburger, but the others >all jumped on it pretty quickly and I bet they weren't sued for it. >A bacon cheeseburger is just too easy/obvious. As Steve noted, that is >a point in the controversy over software patents - the patent office >seems to set the bar too low, so people are patenting the software >equivalent of a bacon cheeseburger. In a nutshell: If the Hula Burger is covered by a patent, you can be sued for selling a loop of fried pineapple and a slice of processed cheese on a hamburger bun. It doesn't matter what you call the thing, you can't legally sell it without getting a license from the guy (and I'm sure it was a guy) who first filed the Hula Burger patent (in Japan) or who first stacked these four pieces of food up and eventually got around to filing for a patent on them (in the US). If "Hula Burger" is covered by a trademark, you can sell a loop of fried pineapple and a slice of processed cheese on a hamburger bun, but you can be sued if you call it a Hula Burger. This would be true even if that had been the staple fare for the entire population for breakfast, lunch and dinner since the last Ice Age before some guy decided to call the combination a Hula Burger. However, you may possibly be sued if you sell this stack of four pieces of food and call it a Hurla Burger, or if you sell a cheeseburger with bacon and call it a Hula Burger. But you are unlikely to be sued if you sell a portable phone or a package tour and call that a Hula Burger, because only a dummy would mix these up with something to eat. (The fact that only a dummy would buy a Hula Burger in the knowledge that it *was* something to eat is completely beside the point.) If the Hula Burger is covered by a software copyright, then before you can determine whether you can be sued, you must first disaggregate it into its constituent parts. Then each part must be examined to determine whether its form is mandated by extrinsic considerations such as the mechanical specifications of the person who is going to eat it; the compatibility requirements for other things that it is designed to be eaten with; the design standards imposed by the manufacturer of the person intended to eat it; the demands of persons who might eat it, as a class; and widespread culinary practices. Every part whose form is determined by such external factors must be thrown away. If you have anything left after you've done that, compare it with an original Hula Burger, and make a decision on whether that remainder constitutes creative expression embedded within the Hula Burger as a whole. If it does, you can be sued for violating the rights of the person who first published a Hula Burger (in the US), or who first created one (in Japan), unless you can prove that you didn't copy from them, or they died more than 50 years ago. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Next Nomikai: December 17 (Fri), 20:00 Tengu TokyoEkiMae 03-3275-3691 Next Technical Meeting: January 14 (Fri) 19:00 * Topic: "glibc - current status and future developments" * Guest Speaker: Ulrich Drepper (Cygnus Solutions) * Place: Oracle Japan HQ 12F Seminar Room (New Otani Garden Court) ------------------------------------------------------------------- more info: http://www.tlug.gr.jp Sponsor: Global Online Japan
- RE: tlug: RMS and Amazon...
- From: "Manuel M. T. Chakravarty" <email@example.com>
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