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Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean


From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 21:07:28 -0400


"Alexander Terekhov" <address@hidden> wrote in message news:address@hidden

Rjack wrote:
[...]
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gcc-exception-faq.html

"Since all of the object code that GCC generates is derived from these
GPLed libraries, that means you would be required to follow the terms of
the GPL when propagating any of that object code. You could not use GCC
to develop your own GPL-incompatible software."

The constructions created by any compiler are fairly atomic in nature and it is unlikely that anyone could make a case that the compiler output, constructed of some collection of these constructs based on the programmer's arrangement of source code syntax and order, would ever be a unique expression fixed in a media as defined by the copyright laws. This whole discussion is akin to the arguments in theology regarding how many angles can dance on the head of a pin.

The idea behind the work is not copyrighted material and if it is not protected by a patent, anyone can use the idea by putting it into their own words. You can use the plot and storyline of a novel, making up your own characters and filling in your own details and publish it without much fear of copyright violation. It is the artistic elements that are protected.

The same holds true of a computer program. If you take the central idea, concept, method, etc., and re-code it in your own work, it is not a copyright issue. Even if it works exactly the same, i.e. the "look and feel" are identical to some other work, it is not subject to copyright claims. That seems to be overlooked by the GPL advocates today. Very little of what they think they are protecting is protected.



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