The C++ std and copyright

Discussion in 'C++' started by Neelesh Bodas, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. This is not exactly a question on C++ std, rather it is a
    "metaquestion" on C++ std.

    The C++ ISO std has a copyright notice saying that "No part of this
    publication may be reproduced in any form, including an electronic
    retrieval system, without the prior written permission of ITI."

    What does this exactly mean? Eg. Suppose I am writing a book on C++.
    In my book, I will obviously explain only those things that are in the
    standard (I cant invent things and tag them under the name of C++). So
    does that mean I need to take a prior permission from the ITI before
    writing any such book?

    What about writing some article (say on c++-style-casts) in a journal?
    on a blog?

    May be in my book I will use a different wording at most places to
    avoid any copyright violation. But for basic definitions etc, I will
    have to use the exact wording from the standard. Also, at certain
    places the standard gives very nice examples (code) to demonstrate.
    Can't I use this code in my writeups to explain certain concept/idea?

    -Neelesh
    Neelesh Bodas, Jul 10, 2007
    #1
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  2. Neelesh Bodas wrote:
    > This is not exactly a question on C++ std, rather it is a
    > "metaquestion" on C++ std.
    >
    > The C++ ISO std has a copyright notice saying that "No part of this
    > publication may be reproduced in any form, including an electronic
    > retrieval system, without the prior written permission of ITI."
    >
    > What does this exactly mean? Eg. Suppose I am writing a book on C++.
    > In my book, I will obviously explain only those things that are in the
    > standard (I cant invent things and tag them under the name of C++). So
    > does that mean I need to take a prior permission from the ITI before
    > writing any such book?


    I believe you (your publisher or their lawyers) need to get familiar
    with the concept of "fair use" and apply it.

    > What about writing some article (say on c++-style-casts) in a journal?


    The journal has a publisher, they have lawyers, ask them.

    > on a blog?


    Blog? Consult the ISP's user agreement and their rules of conduct.

    > May be in my book I will use a different wording at most places to
    > avoid any copyright violation. But for basic definitions etc, I will
    > have to use the exact wording from the standard. Also, at certain
    > places the standard gives very nice examples (code) to demonstrate.
    > Can't I use this code in my writeups to explain certain concept/idea?


    We quote passages from the Standard all the time here. It all falls
    under "fair use", as long as you acknowledge the copyright or at least
    don't try to pass it as your own writing.

    V
    --
    Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
    I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
    Victor Bazarov, Jul 10, 2007
    #2
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  3. On Jul 10, 10:52 pm, "Victor Bazarov" <> wrote:

    >
    > I believe you (your publisher or their lawyers) need to get familiar
    > with the concept of "fair use" and apply it.
    >

    Thanks.
    Neelesh Bodas, Jul 10, 2007
    #3
  4. Neelesh Bodas

    GeekBoy Guest

    "Neelesh Bodas" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This is not exactly a question on C++ std, rather it is a
    > "metaquestion" on C++ std.
    >
    > The C++ ISO std has a copyright notice saying that "No part of this
    > publication may be reproduced in any form, including an electronic
    > retrieval system, without the prior written permission of ITI."
    >
    > What does this exactly mean? Eg. Suppose I am writing a book on C++.
    > In my book, I will obviously explain only those things that are in the
    > standard (I cant invent things and tag them under the name of C++). So
    > does that mean I need to take a prior permission from the ITI before
    > writing any such book?
    >
    > What about writing some article (say on c++-style-casts) in a journal?
    > on a blog?
    >
    > May be in my book I will use a different wording at most places to
    > avoid any copyright violation. But for basic definitions etc, I will
    > have to use the exact wording from the standard. Also, at certain
    > places the standard gives very nice examples (code) to demonstrate.
    > Can't I use this code in my writeups to explain certain concept/idea?
    >
    > -Neelesh
    >



    There are certain things that cannot be copyrighted.

    For example a phone book. While the style of the phone book can be
    copyrighted, the data cannot. Hence why you see so many phone books now
    days.
    While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out the
    standards in your own way is not.
    GeekBoy, Jul 10, 2007
    #4
  5. GeekBoy wrote:
    > [..]
    > While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out the
    > standards in your own way is not.


    I have hard time understanding that statment (English is not my mother
    tongue). Could you perhaps clear it up or rephrase or maybe elaborate?
    Thanks!

    V
    --
    Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
    I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
    Victor Bazarov, Jul 10, 2007
    #5
  6. On 2007-07-10 21:24, Victor Bazarov wrote:
    > GeekBoy wrote:
    >> [..]
    >> While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out the
    >> standards in your own way is not.

    >
    > I have hard time understanding that statment (English is not my mother
    > tongue). Could you perhaps clear it up or rephrase or maybe elaborate?
    > Thanks!


    What he means is that while the standard (the text and formatting of it)
    is copyrighted, the actual data in it can not be copyrighted (just the
    representation), so it's legal to express the same data in another way
    and distribute that.


    Off topic copyright trivia:

    Regarding the phone-book, I don't know about the US but in EU, the
    collection of phone-numbers is protected by copyright while the
    individual numbers are not protected. The same thing applies for things
    like photo-books, while each photo is protected the book as such can not
    be considered to be a work worthy of copyright protection, but since it
    requires some effort to create it, it is also protected (in addition to
    the protection for the individual photos).

    --
    Erik Wikström
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Erik_Wikstr=F6m?=, Jul 10, 2007
    #6
  7. "Victor Bazarov" <> writes:

    > GeekBoy wrote:
    >> [..]
    >> While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out the
    >> standards in your own way is not.

    >
    > I have hard time understanding that statment (English is not my mother
    > tongue). Could you perhaps clear it up or rephrase or maybe elaborate?


    The text of the standard describes ideas and concepts. That text is copy-
    righted, but the ideas and concepts that it describes are not - you can
    write your own text to describe them without being concerned about the
    copyright on the standard's description of them.

    sherm--

    --
    Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
    Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
    Sherm Pendley, Jul 10, 2007
    #7
  8. Neelesh Bodas

    Kai-Uwe Bux Guest

    Victor Bazarov wrote:

    > GeekBoy wrote:
    >> [..]
    >> While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out the
    >> standards in your own way is not.

    >
    > I have hard time understanding that statment (English is not my mother
    > tongue). Could you perhaps clear it up or rephrase or maybe elaborate?
    > Thanks!


    It's not exactly clear, but I understood him to mean that under (US?)
    copyright, protection applies to a particular expression and not (directly)
    to the thought expressed therein. E.g., the quick-sort algorithm cannot be
    copyrighted; although (a) any particular implementation can and (b) it may
    be possible to obtain IP for an algorithm by other means, for instance,
    patents.



    Best

    Kai-Uwe Bux
    Kai-Uwe Bux, Jul 10, 2007
    #8
  9. Erik Wikström wrote:
    > On 2007-07-10 21:24, Victor Bazarov wrote:
    >> GeekBoy wrote:
    >>> [..]
    >>> While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out
    >>> the standards in your own way is not.

    >>
    >> I have hard time understanding that statment (English is not my
    >> mother tongue). Could you perhaps clear it up or rephrase or maybe
    >> elaborate? Thanks!

    >
    > What he means is that while the standard (the text and formatting of
    > it) is copyrighted, the actual data in it can not be copyrighted
    > (just the representation), so it's legal to express the same data in
    > another way and distribute that.


    Aha... So, if I say that "applying operator* to a pointer that has
    an invalid value causes things to happen to which no requirements can
    be established", I'd be expressing the same idea as some standard
    saying "dereferencing an invalid pointer has undefined behavior", but
    it's OK since I don't quote the Standard itself, right?

    I am guessing that there were some words missing in the sentence.
    Ought to be

    "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".

    Sounds about right?

    > [..]


    V
    --
    Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
    I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
    Victor Bazarov, Jul 10, 2007
    #9
  10. Neelesh Bodas

    GeekBoy Guest

    "Kai-Uwe Bux" <> wrote in message
    news:f70pio$dqj$...
    > Victor Bazarov wrote:
    >
    >> GeekBoy wrote:
    >>> [..]
    >>> While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out the
    >>> standards in your own way is not.

    >>
    >> I have hard time understanding that statment (English is not my mother
    >> tongue). Could you perhaps clear it up or rephrase or maybe elaborate?
    >> Thanks!

    >
    > It's not exactly clear, but I understood him to mean that under (US?)
    > copyright, protection applies to a particular expression and not
    > (directly)
    > to the thought expressed therein. E.g., the quick-sort algorithm cannot be
    > copyrighted; although (a) any particular implementation can and (b) it may
    > be possible to obtain IP for an algorithm by other means, for instance,
    > patents.
    >



    Here is an example. Suppose I make a movie about zombies and I am the first
    person to do it.(A popular theme).

    The idea of zombies in a movie cannot be copyrighted, but the way I tell the
    story in the movie is.
    So that means other can come along and make their own zombie movie as long
    it is different.

    However, under crazy US laws, some algorithms can be patiented. So if
    someone came up with the bubble sort algorithm just the other day and
    patented it, you could not use it commericaly for 10 years.







    >
    >
    > Best
    >
    > Kai-Uwe Bux
    GeekBoy, Jul 11, 2007
    #10
  11. Neelesh Bodas

    osmium Guest

    "GeekBoy" writes:

    > However, under crazy US laws, some algorithms can be patiented. So if
    > someone came up with the bubble sort algorithm just the other day and
    > patented it, you could not use it commericaly for 10 years.


    The laws may be crazy but they aren't *that* crazy. The bubble sort
    algorithm has been exposed to the public more than a year ago, so that kills
    any idea of patenting it. Your hero may have *rediscovered* the idea by
    himself, but still, no patent.
    osmium, Jul 11, 2007
    #11
  12. Neelesh Bodas

    GeekBoy Guest

    "osmium" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "GeekBoy" writes:
    >
    >> However, under crazy US laws, some algorithms can be patiented. So if
    >> someone came up with the bubble sort algorithm just the other day and
    >> patented it, you could not use it commericaly for 10 years.

    >
    > The laws may be crazy but they aren't *that* crazy. The bubble sort
    > algorithm has been exposed to the public more than a year ago, so that
    > kills any idea of patenting it. Your hero may have *rediscovered* the
    > idea by himself, but still, no patent.
    >


    I was merely giving examples.
    However M$ has patiented many "algorithms."
    GeekBoy, Jul 11, 2007
    #12
  13. Neelesh Bodas

    Dizzy Guest

    Victor Bazarov wrote:

    > Erik Wikström wrote:
    >> On 2007-07-10 21:24, Victor Bazarov wrote:
    >>> GeekBoy wrote:
    >>>> [..]
    >>>> While the way the presented the standard is protected, putting out
    >>>> the standards in your own way is not.
    >>>
    >>> I have hard time understanding that statment (English is not my
    >>> mother tongue). Could you perhaps clear it up or rephrase or maybe
    >>> elaborate? Thanks!

    >>
    >> What he means is that while the standard (the text and formatting of
    >> it) is copyrighted, the actual data in it can not be copyrighted
    >> (just the representation), so it's legal to express the same data in
    >> another way and distribute that.

    >
    > Aha... So, if I say that "applying operator* to a pointer that has
    > an invalid value causes things to happen to which no requirements can
    > be established", I'd be expressing the same idea as some standard
    > saying "dereferencing an invalid pointer has undefined behavior", but
    > it's OK since I don't quote the Standard itself, right?
    >
    > I am guessing that there were some words missing in the sentence.
    > Ought to be
    >
    > "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    > putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".
    >
    > Sounds about right?


    Unless you have some strange Copyright law. AFAIK copyright in general only
    protects the expression of the work not the ideas expressed by the work.
    Thus the standard shouldn't be ammended as long as that definition is valid
    for your country (or whatever law applies, international or not). That's
    why there are (software) patents, to "protect" ideas.

    --
    Dizzy
    Dizzy, Jul 11, 2007
    #13
  14. Neelesh Bodas

    James Kanze Guest

    On Jul 11, 12:05 pm, Dizzy <> wrote:
    > Victor Bazarov wrote:


    > > "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    > > putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".


    > > Sounds about right?


    > Unless you have some strange Copyright law. AFAIK copyright in
    > general only protects the expression of the work not the ideas
    > expressed by the work. Thus the standard shouldn't be
    > ammended as long as that definition is valid for your country
    > (or whatever law applies, international or not). That's why
    > there are (software) patents, to "protect" ideas.


    Patents protect "inventions", not ideas. The invention may be
    based on ideas, but at least under international patent law, you
    cannot patent just an idea or an algorithm. And except in
    exceptional cases, software is considered an algorithm, and
    can't be patented.

    That's international law, of course; some countries do tend seem
    the consider themselves above international law.

    --
    James Kanze (GABI Software) email:
    Conseils en informatique orientée objet/
    Beratung in objektorientierter Datenverarbeitung
    9 place Sémard, 78210 St.-Cyr-l'École, France, +33 (0)1 30 23 00 34
    James Kanze, Jul 11, 2007
    #14
  15. Neelesh Bodas

    Kai-Uwe Bux Guest

    James Kanze wrote:

    > On Jul 11, 12:05 pm, Dizzy <> wrote:
    >> Victor Bazarov wrote:

    >
    >> > "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    >> > putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".

    >
    >> > Sounds about right?

    >
    >> Unless you have some strange Copyright law. AFAIK copyright in
    >> general only protects the expression of the work not the ideas
    >> expressed by the work. Thus the standard shouldn't be
    >> ammended as long as that definition is valid for your country
    >> (or whatever law applies, international or not). That's why
    >> there are (software) patents, to "protect" ideas.

    >
    > Patents protect "inventions", not ideas. The invention may be
    > based on ideas, but at least under international patent law, you
    > cannot patent just an idea or an algorithm. And except in
    > exceptional cases, software is considered an algorithm, and
    > can't be patented.
    >
    > That's international law, of course; some countries do tend seem
    > the consider themselves above international law.


    Are you sure that the international law does not just specify minimum
    requirements for national laws so that national laws must recognize patents
    from another country provided they satisfy requirements A, B, and C.
    However, it is easy to conceive that member states to the international
    patent treaty (or whatever created the international law you are refering
    to) reserved the right to afford farther-reaching protection mechanisms in
    their national laws. All that international law implies is that such local
    patents should not be expected to be enforcible elsewhere.

    BTW: what international law are you refering to? I would like to look that
    up.


    Best

    Kai-Uwe Bux
    Kai-Uwe Bux, Jul 11, 2007
    #15
  16. Neelesh Bodas

    GeekBoy Guest

    Micros
    "James Kanze" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    On Jul 11, 12:05 pm, Dizzy <> wrote:
    > Victor Bazarov wrote:


    > > "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    > > putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".


    > > Sounds about right?


    > Unless you have some strange Copyright law. AFAIK copyright in
    > general only protects the expression of the work not the ideas
    > expressed by the work. Thus the standard shouldn't be
    > ammended as long as that definition is valid for your country
    > (or whatever law applies, international or not). That's why
    > there are (software) patents, to "protect" ideas.


    >Patents protect "inventions", not ideas. The invention may be
    >based on ideas, but at least under international patent law, you
    >cannot patent just an idea or an algorithm. And except in
    >exceptional cases, software is considered an algorithm, and
    >can't be patented.
    >



    Some algorithms are patentable. The guy who holds the MP3 patent
    successfully sued Microsoft over his patent.

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070313-analysis-microsofts-software-patent-flip-flop.html

    >That's international law, of course; some countries do tend seem
    >the consider themselves above international law.
    GeekBoy, Jul 11, 2007
    #16
  17. Neelesh Bodas

    GeekBoy Guest

    "Kai-Uwe Bux" <> wrote in message
    news:f72s1f$6ie$...
    > James Kanze wrote:
    >
    >> On Jul 11, 12:05 pm, Dizzy <> wrote:
    >>> Victor Bazarov wrote:

    >>
    >>> > "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    >>> > putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".

    >>
    >>> > Sounds about right?

    >>
    >>> Unless you have some strange Copyright law. AFAIK copyright in
    >>> general only protects the expression of the work not the ideas
    >>> expressed by the work. Thus the standard shouldn't be
    >>> ammended as long as that definition is valid for your country
    >>> (or whatever law applies, international or not). That's why
    >>> there are (software) patents, to "protect" ideas.

    >>
    >> Patents protect "inventions", not ideas. The invention may be
    >> based on ideas, but at least under international patent law, you
    >> cannot patent just an idea or an algorithm. And except in
    >> exceptional cases, software is considered an algorithm, and
    >> can't be patented.
    >>
    >> That's international law, of course; some countries do tend seem
    >> the consider themselves above international law.

    >
    > Are you sure that the international law does not just specify minimum
    > requirements for national laws so that national laws must recognize
    > patents
    > from another country provided they satisfy requirements A, B, and C.
    > However, it is easy to conceive that member states to the international
    > patent treaty (or whatever created the international law you are refering
    > to) reserved the right to afford farther-reaching protection mechanisms in
    > their national laws. All that international law implies is that such local
    > patents should not be expected to be enforcible elsewhere.
    >
    > BTW: what international law are you refering to? I would like to look that
    > up.
    >


    There is really no "international" law, but agreements made between
    countries.
    The agreements are between most countries thus the call it international
    law.
    GeekBoy, Jul 11, 2007
    #17
  18. On 2007-07-11 17:12, Kai-Uwe Bux wrote:
    > James Kanze wrote:
    >
    >> On Jul 11, 12:05 pm, Dizzy <> wrote:
    >>> Victor Bazarov wrote:

    >>
    >>> > "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    >>> > putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".

    >>
    >>> > Sounds about right?

    >>
    >>> Unless you have some strange Copyright law. AFAIK copyright in
    >>> general only protects the expression of the work not the ideas
    >>> expressed by the work. Thus the standard shouldn't be
    >>> ammended as long as that definition is valid for your country
    >>> (or whatever law applies, international or not). That's why
    >>> there are (software) patents, to "protect" ideas.

    >>
    >> Patents protect "inventions", not ideas. The invention may be
    >> based on ideas, but at least under international patent law, you
    >> cannot patent just an idea or an algorithm. And except in
    >> exceptional cases, software is considered an algorithm, and
    >> can't be patented.
    >>
    >> That's international law, of course; some countries do tend seem
    >> the consider themselves above international law.

    >
    > Are you sure that the international law does not just specify minimum
    > requirements for national laws so that national laws must recognize patents
    > from another country provided they satisfy requirements A, B, and C.
    > However, it is easy to conceive that member states to the international
    > patent treaty (or whatever created the international law you are refering
    > to) reserved the right to afford farther-reaching protection mechanisms in
    > their national laws. All that international law implies is that such local
    > patents should not be expected to be enforcible elsewhere.


    Yes, that's about it, patent law is currently a messy area since there
    are many types of patents, from national, to international, with some
    multinational thrown in (such as EU patents). To my knowledge it's not
    possible to get an international patent on algorithms (software patent),
    and it's not possible in the EU* either. The US does allow them however,
    and that coupled with a kind of broken patent system** have caused some
    troubles in the software industry.

    However since it's an international market, especially for software, it
    means that almost all have to play by the US rules, since they have to
    follow them if they distribute their software in the US.

    > BTW: what international law are you refering to? I would like to look that
    > up.


    That would probably be the TRIPS agreement.

    * Though it's possible (to my understanding) to get a patent for usage
    of a specific algorithm/software coupled with hardware, so you could
    probably patent a portable MP3 player (had it been a new invention).

    ** That's not just my opinion, it's a fact and they are working on
    improving things.

    --
    Erik Wikström
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Erik_Wikstr=F6m?=, Jul 11, 2007
    #18
  19. On 2007-07-11 20:07, GeekBoy wrote:
    > Micros
    > "James Kanze" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > On Jul 11, 12:05 pm, Dizzy <> wrote:
    >> Victor Bazarov wrote:

    >
    >> > "While the way the SMTH presented BY the standard is protected,
    >> > putting out standard's SMTH in our own way is not".

    >
    >> > Sounds about right?

    >
    >> Unless you have some strange Copyright law. AFAIK copyright in
    >> general only protects the expression of the work not the ideas
    >> expressed by the work. Thus the standard shouldn't be
    >> ammended as long as that definition is valid for your country
    >> (or whatever law applies, international or not). That's why
    >> there are (software) patents, to "protect" ideas.

    >
    >>Patents protect "inventions", not ideas. The invention may be
    >>based on ideas, but at least under international patent law, you
    >>cannot patent just an idea or an algorithm. And except in
    >>exceptional cases, software is considered an algorithm, and
    >>can't be patented.
    >>

    >
    >
    > Some algorithms are patentable. The guy who holds the MP3 patent
    > successfully sued Microsoft over his patent.


    To my knowledge, it's only possible in the US, see my other post though.

    --
    Erik Wikström
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Erik_Wikstr=F6m?=, Jul 11, 2007
    #19
  20. Neelesh Bodas

    osmium Guest

    "Erik Wikström" writes:

    > * Though it's possible (to my understanding) to get a patent for usage of
    > a specific algorithm/software coupled with hardware, so you could probably
    > patent a portable MP3 player (had it been a new invention).


    I have been issued seven US patents for microcode used in hardware. These
    were all assigned to my employer at that time. and I received $1 from my
    employer for each of them so I am content with the system. Microcode just
    happens to be the only practical way to implement some very complicated
    mechanisms that are becoming increasingly common. I searched the Web to see
    if they were also issued in some foreign country, and could find no sign of
    that happening. But in the process I found a pure hardware patent that I had
    totally forgotten about! So it was a worthwhile search.

    Note that if the microcode is burned into a ROM it is now hardware - should
    patents on such like be banned? I think this is not a simple problem, but
    the well has been polluted by some trivial patents that should never have
    been granted. For example, I have read newspaper accounts of patent on
    something involving "one click shopping" or some such. And because of such
    things a huge number of programmers want to ban patents in a somewhat
    related area. Patentability should depnd on what kinds of marks I, as an
    engineer, make on paper? If I draw AND gates it is patentable and if I draw
    1's and 0's it is not? Does that make sense? The *idea* is the important
    thing, not the kinds of marks made on paper to represent that idea.

    WRT to software patents, I think RSA is certainly worthy of a patent; and
    think of what a nightmare it would be to implement that in AND and OR gates
    and flip-flops. I don't mean to put myself into that league, it is just
    something that occurred to me as I have been following this thread.
    osmium, Jul 11, 2007
    #20
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