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Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] New question (2): Reference implementation?

Cody, John (OFT) scripsit:

> No offense intended at all, but I am trying to get simple, clear
> answers here.  Remember in law school, when they taught us we should
> be able to explain our answers to our grandmothers?  My grandmother
> would have stopped you at "I don't know of a relevant definition of
> "reference implementation" that is defined by law" and said, "So,
> that's the answer then, ey?"

If you can explain to your grandmother, or anybody else, exactly what is
and what is not "fair use" in U.S. copyright law, you're doing a better
job than the Supremes are.  Some things are intentionally not bright-line.

> 1.  You said you are not aware of a legal definition of "reference
> implementation."  Then how can "governing law" forbid them, as you say,
> if it doesn't even define them?

"Fair use" is undefined, but infringing use which is not fair is
(civilly) punished.  Q.E.D.

IANAL, TINLA.  But it is not UPL either.

John Cowan              cowan@ccil.org          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Historians aren't constantly confronted with people who carry on
self-confidently about the rule against adultery in the sixth amendment to
the Declamation of Independence, as written by Benjamin Hamilton. Computer
scientists aren't always having to correct people who make bold assertions
about the value of Objectivist Programming, as examplified in the HCNL
entities stored in Relaxational Databases.  --Mark Liberman

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