Noah silva nsilva at atari-source.com
Thu Mar 8 15:30:41 CET 2001

I tend to agree, Copyright law clearly states that "Obvious" and/or
"Trivial" things are not copyrightable. If you can tell from an API the 
structure of the data and/or the function definitions (which/I/ would call
trivial), then you can easily reconstruct them.  For example, looking at
the textcolor function, I can easily deduct something like:

procedure TextColor(const color:byte);

There's pretty much only one way to do it.  We know the colors aren't an
enum type, but constants, there isn't much else anyone could come up with.

Perhaps there's a fine line somewhere to be crossed, but the fact that
borland has always supplied the interfaces for their units, while
protecting the actual unit source (unless you buy the source too), shows
me that the interfaces aren't worth protecting.  But it another way, it's
pretty much 100% automatic to convert C's .h files to pascal, etc.,
because there is no real code.  

While there is only one basic way to declare a functions, sometimes there
could be many ways to impliment it.

I think copying an interface to port it or impliment the same unit is
legit most of the time, it doesn't really save any thought though, just
typing.  An example of this being done already is the Free Delphi Lotus
Notes library.  The Lower level was directly ported from C to Pascal by an
automated converter, and then we higher levels (object classes, etc.) were
built on top of that.

 - noah silva

On Thu, 8 Mar 2001, Aleksey V. Vaneev wrote:

> Hello,
> > Did you copy the unit and then modify it?
> > 
> > You know that you are not allowed to redistribute that (modified) unit,
> > and that you would violate copyright, getting FPC into trouble?
> No one can prove anything since MMSYSTEM contains only
> function/procedure declarations. That's not code really. In fact I
> think that this MMSYSTEM appeared in Delphi the same way - like it was
> derived from some Windows SDK.
> Best regards,
>  Aleksey                          mailto:picoder at sbis.komi.ru
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