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   Author  Topic: Computer Language  (Read 510 times)
Anonymous
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Posts: 53
Computer Language
« on: Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:43am »
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Suppose an individual has 1 license to use a statistical software package that can run programs written by the user.  If this individual is not trained to write programs, may another individual write an actual program using the language of the software (say, in a notepad file) so that the license holder may run the program?  The software itself would not be used, but the language would be.
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Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Computer Language
« Reply #1 on: Jan 23rd, 2006, 2:02pm »
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Your question raises some interesting questions, some of which are mostly academic in nature.   The short answer is that it is highly probable that the activity you describe does not infringe but that there are ways to raise legal barriers to the activity you describe.  
 
At least some vendors of software development products have made attempts to limit the scope of programs that can be written with their product.    
 
It is possible that such license terms are unenforceable, but at least some case law suggest that such terms are binding.   The use of the language might be protected by copyright or patents protecting the software package.    I suppose it is possible that a computer language might be patented in ways that require permission to write and distribute programs in that language, but I've never encountered such a thing.
 
I'm aware of a few other theories that might allow control over the programs written in a given language, but for the most part those theories are untested and may not be widely accepted.
 
One way to avoid such a question is to make sure that the package in question does not have such a term.  My experience is that such terms are unusual and are motivation to avoid the product in question.
 
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Isaac
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