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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • This is not legal advice, but if you've removed or replaced all expressions of the original copyrighted idea, you have a new work perhaps inspired by the original but by no means a derivative work.

  • Let's say you look at a piece of code, understand the algorithm used, and re-implement the algorithm from scratch. You may end up with some of the same variable names, loops, and general structure despite having written every line from scratch. Is that derivative?

  • It seems to me that if you started with code and performed several iterations privately and came up with something completely different and then published it, it would not be derivative. But if you published each iteration, each would be derivative of the previous and therefore tainted.

    I'm not sure my definition agrees with legality, though. I'm certain the only way to be truly legally safe is to operate in a cleanroom, reimplementing from open specs, documentation, and reverse engineering, never lookin

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I have considered all of the same cases or variations on them, actually. I agree with your conclusion, but your thought experiments are not helping. :-) You have restated my questions, but not given any answers…