Fwd: Re: [LinuxBIOS] Potential copyright issues with decompiling ACPI tables?

Paul Millar paul at astro.gla.ac.uk
Fri Jul 29 13:11:20 CEST 2005

I guess we can all claim that IANAL, but I've seen similar arguments with
 wine that might be useful.

Reading the copyright section on wikipedia:
there's a mention of the "idea-expression dichotomy".  From wikipedia:

"a copyright covers the expression of an idea, not the idea itself [...]"

For this reason, simple header files (*.h) are normally not considered
copyrightable.  See, for example:
which links to the Sega case:

If the copyright notice is in the BIOS binary, it applies to that
instantiation of the code.  Simply copying the ACPI tables verbatim may be
legal (c.f. Sega case summary above about "purely functional" code), but
parsing the in-memory tables and writing them out to disk (which is what's
happening here, right?) is legal.

(IMHO, IANAL, ...)



On Thursday 28 Jul 2005 22:23, Ronald G. Minnich wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, Ken Fuchs wrote:
> > I haven't spend much time working with ACPI tables, but there may be
> > copyright issues with decompiling these on a COTS BIOS and using the
> > result in LinuxBIOS.  Does anyone agree there may be a copyright
> > concern here?  I don't think there is, but I'm not a copyright lawyer.
> that's a good question. we don't know. On the one hand, ACPI describes
> hardware, and the OSes read it all the time. Seems like public info.
> OTOH, there's a copyright notice in there.
> I don't know the answer.
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