Who owns computer languages?

Todd Evans <evans@connectnet.com>
7 Nov 1997 00:54:55 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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Who owns computer languages? evans@connectnet.com (Todd Evans) (1997-11-07)
Re: Who owns computer languages? fjh@mundook.cs.mu.OZ.AU (1997-11-09)
Re: Who owns computer languages? gclind01@spd.louisville.edu (1997-11-09)
Re: Who owns computer languages? gnb@itga.com.au (Gregory Bond) (1997-11-11)
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Re: mnemonics (was: Who owns computer languages?) adrian@dcs.rhbnc.ac.uk (1997-11-13)
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[1 later articles]
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From: Todd Evans <evans@connectnet.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 7 Nov 1997 00:54:55 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: question, legal

Recently I was reading a thread regarding the "ownership" of computer
languages. The participants never really resolved the issue. Has
this ever come up as a topic on the compiler newsgroup? Do you know
of any guidelines or tests available?

This reason I ask is that our company would like to build a compiler
and runtime that recognizes the syntax of a script language of a
outside vendor's product. The objective is to replace our dependence
on the vendor's compiler and runtime with a system of our own. The
vendor's script language draws mostly from Pascal with a few hints of
C. We've now out-grown their shrink-wrap product and are in much need
of enhancements ( i.e. source level debugger, preprocessor, database
i/o etc. ). With thousands of lines of code written in the vendor's
script language, we obviously don't want to let that go to waste.

Our company lawyer is concerned that we might be infringing on the
vendor's intellectual rights. Do you know of any cases of late which
set precedence in this area?

Thanks in advance!

Best regards,

Todd Evans
[Other than the Lotus look-and-feel suit I can't think of much. The
Ashton-Tate dBase suit was thrown out for unrelated reasons. -John]


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