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AuthorTopic: Implications of Amiga OS 3.1 source code leak  (Read 3494 times)

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guest11527

  • Guest
Re: Implications of Amiga OS 3.1 source code leak
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2015, 09:34:30 AM »
Quote from: Acill;800991
I cant see how any of it would matter at all. Most everything Amiga related has expired patents. What could any legal team even do at this point?  


You don't understand the legal situation. "Patents" and "copyright" are two different things with different implications. A "patent" is a published idea, with the possibility to use the idea in third-party products (here, as in "software") by license granted by payment of money. A patent does not apply to a "code as such", but to the algorithm the code implements. Those have run out.

The "copyright" is the code "as is", the particular implementation of an "IP-right" as stated in a patent. And the copyright did run out. It usually extends 30 years after the death of its creator, or even 70 years now with the Mickey-Mouse law in place. You can certainly re-implement the same algorithms(!) AmigaOs is based on without violating the copyright. You could possibly violate a patent by that, but as you state correctly, those have run out. You should then be aware that the copyright holders (not IP-right holders!) may look very suspicious at you to ensure that no copyrighted code has been used.

No, you cannot, legally, do anything with these leaked sources. They cannot be exploited without permission of the owner of the copyright. You can at best re-implement *without* looking.

And no again, simly typing down the code from the stolen source does not make the resulting work legal, it would still be a derived work. If you want to be perfectly safe, "don't use, don't look, create all yourself".

Quote from: Acill;800991
The community of developers that can even make use of this stuff is so small that it should be a no brainer to let them look and give back.
Look, I would not even try looking for this stuff in torrents and so on. First of all, you do not know in which condition it is and whether it is any useful, i.e. reflects a compilable and stable state of the Os.

Second, it is not administrated and maintained. So even if you fix a bug, who tells that the fix can be passed along and is not lost, or confused because another person makes another "fix" or "improvement".

Third, if you really want to, there is of course an administrated AmigaOs on a specific version control system if you know where and how and whom to ask. However, as stated above, if you know, and if you look, you should be aware of the implications. If you use such code, it's copyrighted, and by publishing work based on this code, you are infringing rights of third parties which may get you into serious trouble. With knowledge comes responsibility.
 

guest11527

  • Guest
Re: Implications of Amiga OS 3.1 source code leak
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2015, 09:37:05 AM »
Quote from: EvilGuy;801021
It'd be so funny if they only had rights to the binary version of the OS and not the source.

Actually, to my knowledge they indeed hold a license to the source code of 3.1 (one of the license holders, so to say). With 3.9, the situation is more complicated as the contributed code may have fallen back to their creators. That is, for example, the case for my contributions. Contracts were negotiated individually, so I cannot tell for others.
 

Offline psxphill

Re: Implications of Amiga OS 3.1 source code leak
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2015, 12:16:15 PM »
Quote from: Thomas Richter;801024
A patent does not apply to a "code as such", but to the algorithm the code implements.

Well sort of. The only patent I remember related to software was the right mouse button drop down menu from the top of the screen (there are probably others). That isn't what I'd call an algorithm.

Quote from: Thomas Richter;801024
The "copyright" is the code "as is", the particular implementation of an "IP-right" as stated in a patent. And the copyright did run out. It usually extends 30 years after the death of its creator, or even 70 years now with the Mickey-Mouse law in place.

I don't believe death comes into it in this case. My understanding is that if If you write software and have it published then your death is important to the copyright expiring. If someone pays you to write software then when you die is irrelevant, because you never owned the copyright.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/302

"In the case of an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication, or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first."

In the case of movies, they usually put at the end of the credits who the author was at the time the movie was created. I don't believe there is any doubt that most of the "AmigaOS" code was created as a work for hire. You'd need to pay an IP lawyer to figure out when the copyright expires on:

1. ARexx as it was licensed from IBM
2. The BCPL source used in 1.3 and earlier
3. Any arp code that turned up in 2.0 and later.

Quote from: Thomas Richter;801024
You can certainly re-implement the same algorithms(!) AmigaOs is based on without violating the copyright.
.....
And no again, simly typing down the code from the stolen source does not make the resulting work legal, it would still be a derived work.

Copyright only protects source code with artistic merit, so as long as the only similarities your source code contains are obvious then you are ok. The original used functions, variables, loops etc, so can you. If you just copy and paste or retype by hand and rename variables, functions, change spacing, tab indenting etc then you've violated the copyright.

Quote from: Thomas Richter;801024
If you want to be perfectly safe, "don't use, don't look, create all yourself".

It's better not to look at the original because your brain will see that implementation as the obvious one and you will struggle to figure out a better way and then be deluded into thinking it's ok to copy it.

You could follow Compaqs lead with how they re-implemented the IBM-PC BIOS http://mashable.com/2014/05/29/halt-and-catch-fire-amc-compaq/#Jue1WEcrdiqx
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 12:28:38 PM by psxphill »
 

Offline kamelito

Re: Implications of Amiga OS 3.1 source code leak
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2015, 02:22:32 PM »
This "news" should be spread outside our community, it will shed some light to the Amiga universe and might help getting a bit more users, devs or hackers who knows.
At least it could help developing better hacks on the Amiga.
Kamelito
 

Offline cgutjahr

Re: Implications of Amiga OS 3.1 source code leak
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2015, 02:17:27 PM »
Quote from: psxphill;801027
Well sort of. The only patent I remember related to software was the right mouse button drop down menu from the top of the screen (there are probably others). That isn't what I'd call an algorithm.

The patent isn't about right-mouse button menus but the fact that you can select *several* menu items at once (hold down RMB, click several menu items with LMB), which will be processed in the order you clicked them. It's patent no. 4,772,882 you can find search engines on uspto.gov.