Re: FW: fostering plagiarism

Subject: Re: FW: fostering plagiarism
From: Scott Miller <smiller -at- CORP -dot- PORTAL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 11:56:02 -0700

So is this copyrightable?

<TABLE WIDTH="100%">

That's my totally original table-based page layout, which I created all
by myself. Was I too late? Was this already copyrighted? Am I off to
jail? Or was I the first to use this, and can now go a rampage?

Nah... you can't copyright HTML code, it's a public standard. Same way I
can't copyright a nested macro in WinHelp. Maybe I'm the first one to
nest some WinHelp macros is just such a way, but Microsoft would get a
wee bit peeved if I copyrighted that.

Backpedaling a bit, there's something of a gray area, I suppose. Like if
I write a DLL, that's copyrightable. So does that make something written
in JavaScript copyrightable? That's where I begin to wonder. But I draw
the line at standard HTML. There's no way you could get a copyright on
just implementing HTML in a new way. I hope. Could you imagine? What a
nightmare. "Sorry buddy, you can't use <b> and <i> together. I
copyrighted that."

- Scott M
smiller -at- portal -dot- com

> Creating HTML code is a creative effort, exactly the thing that
> copyright
> laws and the ethical prohibition of plagiarism are meant to protect.
> Copying
> the results of such an effort and claiming them as your own is
> plagiarism.
> I emailed the editor, and he replied. His reply consisted mainly of
> quoting
> his own column:

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