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Re: ISO intellectual property (was Standards)
- From: Winchel 'Todd' Vincent III <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Tom Bradford <email@example.com>,"Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001 17:27:04 -0400
> Yes, you can embrace and extend. Yes, it is legal.
Based on my research, I believe this is an open legal question. Generally,
I do not believe the idea (under a GPL) has ever been tested in court and
present intellectual property laws are not, in my opinion, sophisticated
enough to answer the question. Some of these concepts, I believe, were
tested in Sun v. Microsoft, but the license was very different than a GPL.
Indeed, much of the answer to the question would depend on the license under
which the intellectual property had been distributed and the type of
intellectual property (software, documentation, etc.). So, there could be
many different answers for many different licenses.
I was once criticized for using the following example, because it comes from
a Microsoft document . . . but . . . there is an informative taxonomy of
different types of software licenses available at:
Lawyers are generally paid to be able to argue any side of an issue. There
are strong arguments on both (many) sides of this issue. Unless things have
changed since I did much of my research just over a year ago, I do not think
there is any definitive legal precedent in this area (in the U.S or
elsewhere). At best, there are community norms. These norms would be
informative in court, but not definitive. Napster, for instance, is a good
example of community norms and intellectual property laws (and money)
I will go one step further and say that in a perfect world, intellectual
property law (internationally) would/should be revised and amended to take
into consideration standards and the standards development process.
Winchel "Todd" Vincent III
Attorney and Technical Consultant
Project Director, E-CT-Filing Project
Georgia State University College of Law