Subject Re: [IB-Architect] Copyright questions
Author Ann W. Harrison
At 12:46 PM 6/7/2001 -0300, Marcelo Lopez Ruiz wrote:

>I'm interested in writing a bunch of applications and web pages that
>manipulate Interbase data with XML. I'm using the XML syntax and semantics
>defined for MS SQL 2000, e.g.: select * from employees for xml auto.
>My question now is: is this legal? The documentation is, of course,
>copyright of Microsoft. The specification, too. However, if I write an
>implementation for IB/FB that adheres to this specification, am I doing
>something unlawful? Is this some kind of copyright violation, or is it ok
>to do this?

Given the usual disclaimer (I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on
television), this is an area of intellectual property law I've been
involved with for many years. Ideas* can not be copyright - only
their implementation. Unless the interface is patented, you may
use it. That has been the consistent opinion of the intellectual
property lawyers I have employed (and some I've just pestered).



* - in some areas of artistic endeavor, courts have broadened this somewhat,
in part because separating the idea from a novel is difficult. Intellectual
property law about software is in ferment - a wonderful example of decisions
by judges who don't understand the technology, and companies trying to protect
everything under the sun. Not as bad as genetics, but a mess anyway.