What happens to the GPL in FPGA & VLSI implementations?
zotz at 100jamz.com
Sat Mar 19 12:35:07 EST 2005
I am going to do a quick search on goolge and include some links I find. I
will also comment further down.
Search for ( Architectural Works pp.247-254 ) in the above link.
Sorry, I have run out of time and need to head out. I haven't found some of
the stuff I was googleing for. Will try and finish up later.
On Saturday 19 March 2005 10:58 am, Greg London wrote:
> drew Roberts said:
> > On Friday 18 March 2005 05:14 pm, Greg London wrote:
> >> drew Roberts said:
> >> Copyright covers the expression,
> >> not the implementation.
> >> You can enforce copyright on your expression
> >> whether it is written in ink on paper,
> >> oil on canvas, a CD ROM, or bits in a ROM.
> > Again, I am ignorant. These are not actual bits though, are they? Aren't
> > they gates, resistors, diodes, etc? Are ROMs made from masks?
> Yes, but a bit in a ROM can be copyrighted for
> what it REPRESENTS, not what it is.
> If 1001010101010001010101 REPRESENTS
> "to be or not to be", then you can copyright it.
> If the physical combination of gates, resistors,
> and diodes represent "to be or not to be",
> then its a copy/derivative of the work.
> The GPL violation site you linked to sounded like
> the violation was from putting GPL code into ROM,
> and ROM still expresses the code.
> Now switch over to verilog code to describe
> some functionality in hardware.
> wire output;
> assign output = A & B | (C ^ D);
> As long as you are only representing that expression,
> copyright applies to the work.
> Someone could express that same functionality differently
> and not be infringing the copyright of the original
> because copyright does not protect functionality.
> wire acknowledge = Val & Address | (Interrupt ^ Mask);
> You would have to develop your code without looking
> at the other person's code to claim it's wholly
> your own expression, but copyright will allow
> different works to express the same functionality.
> Now, when you take an expression like the one above
> which expresses how to calculate the acknowledge
> output signal, and actually IMPLEMENT that functionality,
> then it is no longer EXPRESSING the functionality,
> it is DOING it.
> If someone wrote a book on how to build a mechanical
> clock from balsa wood, then if a customer buys that
> book, and builds that clock, copyright does not apply
> to the clock, even though they used the instructions
> in the book, word-for-word, step-by-step, to build
> the clock.
> The clock isn't an expression anymore, it IS the functionaly
> described in the book.
> The clock is NOT a derivative copyright work of the book.
> Which means I could buy the book from the author
> and start manufacturing clocks without paying the
> author a single cent, without getting their permission.
> The only way the author could prevent me from
> manufacturing and selling clocks that use his
> design is if his design was sufficiently new
> and unique and functionally different from any
> previous clock design to qualify for patent protection.
> >> Thinking about it now, I just realized that
> >> you cannot copyright a recipe for cake.
> > You may not be able to copyright a recipe for cake, that would be good
> > and if so, is good to know, ... but I just went and checked three
> > cookbooks and they all have copyright pages. So, if the recipes cannot be
> > copyrighted, what exactly is copyrighted in these books?
> Usually a cookbook has a recipe, a picture of the
> finished dish, and a paragraph or two that talks
> about how the dish tastes, who they got the
> recipe from, etc. The pictures and the non-recipe
> paragraphs are copyrighted.
Cool, you should then be able to reproduce the list of ingredients and perhaps
the description of the method of prep and cooking. (Do you perhaps need to
rewrite these in your own words?) Do your own layout, design, pics, etc and
you are OK legally. Any lawyers care to comment?
all the best,
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