Google Apps – who owns them?

I’ve written about software written by other software before on this blog.

Now the practice is really taking off: Google has released its Google Android Apps inventor program.

What does it mean? Anybody registered can start developing Google Android Apps.

These are applications (software), where not a single line of code is written by humans.  How is that possible? You can find that out here.

As I have set out before, software consisting of code written only by other software, falls outside the scope of copyright. Why? Because no author (of the code) can clearly be identified, and no human creativity intervenes in the writing of the code of the software. (The ideas, functions and algorithms of the App also fall outside the scope of copyright – that’s how copyright works).

That means that the software is not protected by any formal Intellectual Property Right.

What does Google say? In its terms, Google takes the SEP approach (=” Somebody Else’s Problem”). Google does not claim ownership in the App, and does not really care whether the “developer” does.

Interestingly, though, if copyright does not apply to the App, that also means that the principles of Open Source (and the Android license) cannot  apply to any code contained in the App.

So how will the developers be able to build a business model around applications and functions that are not protectable?

Watch this space.