I work in the Brazilian Copyright Office.
Regarding EAs and trading systems...
Ideas, schemes and algorithms are NOT protected by copyright. I quote bellow, from the WIPO website (http://www.wipo.int/copyright/en/faq/faqs.htm):
Copyright protection extends only to expressions, and not to ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such. This principle has been confirmed by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as the WIPO Copyright Treaty. "
The software itself IS protected by copyright, indeed, but NOT the algorithm it uses. Neverteless, the use of reverse engineering to access the code are generally forbidden by most countries who signed the WCT Treaty (here the Treaty: http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wct/, and the list of contracting parties: http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ShowResults.jsp?lang=en&treaty_id=16), but, once disclosed, other programmers may develop their own trading system based on that algorithm, without breaking the law.
So if someone sells an EA, and discloses the code, that algorithm may be used or adapted by other users. If it is sold as a "closed" software, it is protected (surprinsingly, in most countries it will be protected as a literary work).
Regarding only to the trading signals, I see them more as a service than a work that could be protected by copyright. Nevertheless, the seller of the "closed" system (the EA) may impose a clause that forbids the buyer to sell the signals generated by the system sold. However, such clause is never easy to enforce...
Hope it was usefull.
thanks for your answer. I discovered new things I did not know.
Established that the methods of operation can not be subject to copyright, my question relates to the EA as a software product. The service signal should not provide a mechanism to prevent the use of EA purchased?
Thank you again.
Icarus, thanks for the links provided, they were more than useful. But, i was thinking in a much more complex situation:
A buyer subscribes to a signal (no EA purchased, signaling only) but then the buyer develops his own EA that replicates the signals he has subscribed and then offers his own signaling serviced based on the other one.
How does copyright apply to this situation? i mean, can the seller from the original signaling service impose a clause to forbid replicating or making public his signals? We're talking about services here so i don't know a thing.
In the first place i'm not sure if it's possible to replicate a signal
in an EA, i've not subscribed to a signal yet so i don't know by
experience at what level it interacts with the platform. But if there's
no way then i bet developers will find one.
Sorry for messing things up but i have the same doubts as Sergio or even more.
i agree with you
To be honest Im not sure about what a service signal is (Im that newbie). As I understood, the seller sells the system (as a "closed" EA software), and then the buyer sells the signals generated by that system, is that right?
In this case, the advice is to sell the software through a contract that prevents the buyer to sell the signals. You can even sell the licence for sell the signal for a different price.
In the absence of a contract only a Court can tell if this kind of use is legal or not, by a copyright point of view. Actually this is very new and specific, Im certain that it would not be easy for most Tribunals to tackle this, specially because it is difficult to make a parallel (to compare the case) with similar cases involving traditional copyright protected works (such as literary works, audiovisual or musical works).
The closest example I can think is about audiovisual works. The producer generally is the rightowner and sells the licence on the movie for specific uses and by different prices. For example, if you own a blockbuster video store, then you rent movies, and you pay the rightowner one price to buy the licence (with the related media support) to do that (I mean, to rent the movies). If you own a movie theatre you buy a different licence (again with the related media support) and pay the rightowner a different price to explore the work (the movie) in a different way. If you are not a businessman, but a regular consumer, and buy a movie dvd you also pay the rightowner for a licence to enjoy the movie (again with the related media support), and pay a different value, but in this case several restrictions apply (e.g.: you cannot perform public exibitions without the consent of the rightowner, among others). In these examples, third parties explore the original work by paying for a licence to do that.
But this is far to have a perfect application for your case, because in this example each reproduction of the movie I gave (dvd copies for rent, specific format for the movie theater) is copyright protected. In your case, it is difficult to see the signal generated by the software as a copyright protected work (although the software is). As I said, only a Court can tell in each specific case.
My best advice is again to only sell the EA as a "closed" software, and through a contract that prevent the uses you dont want by the buyer. Then you will apply the regular Civil Law about contracts, and avoid (not necessarally, if you want) copyright law, which application is not (at least in my humble point of view) clear here.
TripleHeinz, in this example I dont see any problem. I think it does not caracterizes reverse engineering (that would implies at least an attempt to unlock the system code)...
A good sugestion then for the signal service is that Expert Advisors should broadcast in a separate handler like OnSignal, that if not implemented then the EA is not able to broadcast signals or else if implemented then the EA is able to broadcast and to apply some filtering.
But if a user has possesion of a 3rd party EA, even if it's a closed source one, then he would still be able to replicate the signals by means of deals performed.
Maybe i should leave a note on the service desk.