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Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 16:17:16 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Rjack <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>> Rjack <address@hidden> writes:
>>
>>> amicus_curious wrote:
>>>
>>>> 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 Free Software Foundation loves to start controversies about
>>> matters such as "GCC generated object code" for good reason.
>>
>> You are confused.  The whole point of the explicitly relinquished
>> (rather than ascertained) rights is to _quell_ any such controversy
>>  from the start.  By making explicitly clear that the compiled code
>>  is not covered by demands derived from compiler copyright (by
>> volition of the compiler writers in addition to whatever copyright
>> law might or might not dictate), users have one thing less to worry
>> about.
>
> Sorry, but "confusion" does not reign on my part.

I was just operating under the directive "don't attribute to malice what
can be explained by stupidity".

> You missed point of my assertion. This discussion is not occurring in
> a neutral context.
> http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gcc-exception-faq.html
>
> By using terminology such as "explicitly relinquished (rather than
> ascertained) rights", you are implying that the GPL, if it were not
> for the "exception" stated by the Free Software Foundation, *would*
> have legal consequence.

No.  "could".  As decided by a court of law with judges in whatever good
or bad mood.

> By claiming, "By making explicitly clear that the compiled code is not
> covered by demands derived from compiler copyright. . .", you leave
> the impression that the compiler license (the GPL) requirements *are*
> enforceable in other contexts.

I don't do anything of the sort.  The impression is that people might
_fear_ that their might be a reasonable amount of expectation they could
go to court for it.  Most people prefer not to go there in the first
place, regardless of their chances.  This possible fear is dispelled
with regard to stuff compiled by GCC.

> But they aren't.

It is easy for you to say that since you are not an involved party and
don't have to fear any damages.  When an involved party, however, states
its full intent to relinquish all possibly purported rights and not sue
for them, it is one thing less to worry about.

Only an idiot can construe intimidation from a written guarantee not to
sue for a possibly contentious issue.

-- 
David Kastrup


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