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  Chess Computer Role In Software Copyright
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   Author  Topic: Chess Computer Role In Software Copyright  (Read 815 times)
Mike Watters
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Re:Chess Computer Role In Software Copyright
« on: February 21, 2005, 08:32AM »
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The Compuchess program was worth protecting Ismenio. I just castled King side and I next moved the King to f1 which also has a rook on it. Compuchess happily accepted the move and carried on as if nothing had happened.

It has been a long journey from CC1 and Compuchess to Ruud Martins strongest dedicated chess computer which will be using chess engines which are freely available to all with a PC.
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Ismenio
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Chess Computer Role In Software Copyright
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2005, 01:31PM »
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Not too many people know this but our little machines played a major role in definition of proprietary software, copyright and other legal stuff.

It happened in 1979 and the players where Datacash, which created the CompuChess, one of the first chess computers and JS&A. The lowdown on the story is that they both went to court and it seems one was blaming the other for violation of the program they used in the machines.

This is part of what I've found:

Datacash vs. JS&A is a decision (79 C 591, September 26, 1979) in Illinois District Court that unequivocally held that "the object phase of a computer program was not a 'copy' within meaning of the Copyright Act of 1909 or common law" and "The Copyright Act of 1976 applies to computer programs in their flow chart, source and assembly phases, but not in their object phase." The decision terrified the software community, and was the reason for this article being prepared. CONTU was the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works, which held hearings on the validity of copyright as applied to computer software, and issued a report on July 31, 1978 (SuDocs No. 030-002-0143-8). The heart of the problem was human readability, which CONTU Commissioner John Hersey (author of Hiroshima and president of the Authors League of America) found absent from the "machine part" character of object code. However, in the intervening 20 years, copyright has been extended to computer object code and other material in non-human-readable form, and displayed copyright notices are no longer required.

I've been doing research on this and found a couple of legal notes on the case but I was really curious about other details and if I find them I'll post them here.

Best,

Ismenio
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