[sf-lug] need advice: GPL licensing question

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Sep 13 17:05:00 PDT 2007

Quoting jim stockford (jim at well.com):

> well, my intention was to present the concept that an XML file might
> express an idea with the inference that the XML file might therefore
> be copyrightable.

Um, what makes something copyrightable is it being...

o  in fixed form
o  existing within one of the statutory eight areas
o  creative (having "expressive elements"), 
o  substantive, and
o  not created directly by the Federal government or an agency.[1]

The fact that it "expresses an idea" is neither here nor there:  _Any_
creative work expresses an idea, right?  (Come to think of it, even
purely functional works do, too.)

[1] Anything the Federal government or one of its agencies directly
creates gains zero copyright title:  Such works pass directly into the
public domain, as if their terms of copyright had expired.  However,
nothing prevents a Federal agency from hiring an outside entity to
create something, and then receive the resulting copyright title by
terms of the contract.

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