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Comment: Halting Problem (Score 2) 316

that a general algorithm to solve the halting problem for all possible program-input pairs cannot exist

The article misunderstands the halting problem. You could replace robots with humans and murder with any descision involing other people and come to the same conclusion. AI does not try to create perfect solutions. Instead you try to create solutions that work most of the time. Approaches that can evolve with trail and error. Ethically you weigh the positive benifits of success against the negative consequences of your failures.

Comment: Interesting (Score 5, Insightful) 118

by ZombieBraintrust (#48380687) Attached to: No, You Can't Seize Country TLDs, US Court Rules
Basically it works like this.
1) Amy has a contract to wash Bob's car for $100 month.
2) Carl sues Bob for murdering his dog.
3) The courts can not give Carl a contract with Amy. The courts can only award Carl with property and money taken from Bob.
Basically the courts can't force Amy to work with Carl. They can't force ICANN to work with the plantiffs.

Comment: Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (Score 1) 260

Sure utility patent for the functional part and design patents for the ornamental part. The structure, sequence, and organization of the API is ornamental. The implementation of an API method is functional. You can get copyright on the implementation of the API because the implementation is an expression of the API. The API being a method of operation for the software it is excluded from copyright. (in order to allow multiple expressions of the API)

Comment: Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (Score 1) 260

Any author may explain the truths of a science or the methods of an art that are the property of the entire world and get a copyright in the work. That copyright, however, does not extend to the method or use of the system described. A system is simply not subject to copyright protection. To protect a system, the author would have to apply for a patent and meet the patent requirements.

This is where the method of operation language comes from in the EFF document. They are arguing that that API is a method of using the system.(java) They are arguing that you can't protect java by copyrighting the API. That it should be protected with patents instead.

Comment: Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (Score 1) 260

The idea–expression divide differentiates between ideas and expression, and states that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

This came about in a court case where someone tried to copyright a book keeping form they invented. They were attempting to get copyright on the form because they failed to get a patent on it. The inventor carefully thought out how the book keeping form should look like. It was not a mere arrangement of facts or information. The courts rejected this argument. They did not want useful inventions covered by copyright when congress intended for them to be covered by patents. In 1975 congress updated the law to match what the Supreme court ruled.

Comment: Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (Score 1) 260

Design patents are the correct form of IP protection for what you described. An API is an invention with utility. It is just like a font. Or a guitar body. Or a lamp shaped like a lady's leg. 14 years is not a long time for protection either.

Comment: Small Goverment (Score 1) 260

All kinds of things fall outside copyright protection. For example fashion can not be copyrighted. Nor can recipe's for food. Short catchy phrases can not be copyrighted. The idea behind a joke can not by copyrighted. Fonts are free of copyright. Most of these exceptions exist because congress and the courts wanted smaller government. People all over the country made their own cloths. Copyright on fashion would be a large intrusion by the government in an everyday activity. Most families cooked their own meals. Enforcing copyright on food would require a massive intrusion on privacy. Copyrights on fonts were a threat to the freedom of speech. API should not be copyrighted because API are a form of language. People should be free to communicate with their machines and with their software. Once I learn the grammar and phrases of an API I should not be forced to work with a company for 150 years.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken