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You are skirting the question | 354 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: jesse on Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 05:45 PM EST
You really don't understand the underpinnings of programming.

Programming is nothing but writing the mathematical steps a simulation of a
mathematical idea is to take in computing results of algorithms.

The mathematical idea is the instruction cycle.

Copyright a specific writing, yes.
But you don't patent writings.

Patent the physical simulation of the mathematical idea, no problem.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice ...
Authored by: Wol on Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 06:01 PM EST
Yes you CAN copyright an algorithm - or at least your personal expression of the

If I answer a question in a maths exam, that is an algorithm. And my answer
sheet is copyright me.

If I implement an algorithm in a computer language, that is a writing, and that
writing is copyright me.

If somebody else happens to know the same algorithm and writes it down then that
version is copyright them. Once you take away the essentialness of the
algorithm, what's left (the copyrightable part) may be minimal, but that still
doesn't stop me copyrighting MY EXPRESSION of the algorithm.

And if somebody copies MY VERSION without my permission, it's a blatant
copyright violation.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

No, all software is algorithms.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 08:37 PM EST
As a programmer, what you do is come up with algorithms.

You seem to be suffering from a confusion between *generic algorithms* and
*specific algorithms*. Frequently, as a programmer, your job is actually to
take a generic algorithm and design a specific algorithm.

Using the mathematical definition of algorithm, it's all algorithms.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Oh, and we copyright the expression of an algorithm routinely
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 08:38 PM EST
Most math books are copyrighted. Ever notice that?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

You are skirting the question
Authored by: celtic_hackr on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 01:21 AM EST
You keep saying there is lots more to programming, but you haven't stated even
what one of those lots more items are.

The truth is of course, that software is nothing but algorithms represented in a
programming language, which is then converted by an interpreter or compiler into
an executable form by a binary or analog computer.

Software is all algorithms and data constructs, the fact you think there is more
signifies your lack of knowledge in the subject matter. Although many people
write software without knowing what algorithms they are implementing.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice ...
Authored by: OpenSourceFTW on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 02:19 AM EST
I am a programmer of nearly a decade of experience.

I have yet to do anything in programming that is not algorithms or data.

You still have not mentioned anything in programming that can be patented.

You are also conflating copyrights with patents. Two separate subjects. We
totally agree that copyright is necessary for software. After all, it is a
creative work consisting of algorithims. Patents should have no place in

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Conflation does not help - neither does evasion
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 02:03 PM EST

It looks like you're conflating what's required to develop the algorithm with the algorithm itself. As IANALitj states:

There is a great deal more to computer programming than devising algorithms
While I agree with that statement - that has to do with the act of analysis, programming, etc. and not the program itself. The original statement in dispute is whether or not Software consists of anything but algorithms. No one is disputing the amount of effort involved whether or not someone can do it efficiently or with mediocrity.

The amount of effort involved does not change the nature of the product. One could spend 8 hours of backbreaking labor using a shovel and pick to dig a whole. That does not change the nature of the whole as an empty space.

One could be a very good chef and use a carving knife to do more then just carve... that does not change the nature of the knife.

So... you stated there's lots more to software (not the act of creating the software) then just algorithms. But you haven't yet listed a single example.

I'd be interested in knowing what you view in software as not an algorithm and what you would view it is.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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