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Re: GPL traitor !


From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 15:01:29 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss Hyman Rosen <address@hidden> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> The scenario permeating this thread is of somebody enhancing a copyright
>> program, the GCC, with his enhancements which don't conform to the
>> GCC's license in a separate binary file, then DISTRIBUTING the whole.

> That's not the scenario I'm talking about. I am talking only about
> distributing the separate piece, not combined or even on the same
> medium with the program with which it will interact.

Yeah.  You distribute the separate piece separately, saying in the README
"To get the rest of the stuff you need, download from http://....";.
It doesn't count as distributing the whole when you split it up, package
it in two dissimilar boxes which reach the customer by different routes.
You reckon a judge will buy that?

And you've snipped the context yet again, Hyman.  I wish you wouldn't,
because it makes the conversation very difficult to follow.

That context was: you had asserted, on the basis of a court case cited
by Alex T. where the changes a company made to software for its own needs
counted as essential adaptations to make it run, that adapting software
in general is permitted by that silly statute.

My point above (which you appear either not to have noticed, or to have
evaded) was that that company didn't distribute its adapted versions of
the program.  Had it done so, the changes in these versions would likely
no longer have counted as "essential to working".  It is the lack of
further distribution which was critical for this decision.

> I agree that shipping the combined work statically linked, or possibly
> even shipping the new program and the existing one together on the
> same distribution medium (when not part of a large collection), would
> be considered a collective work, and then the GPL requirements would
> affect the new work.

> But distributing the new work alone, not in combination with the work
> with which it is meant to interact, incurs no copyright requirements
> from the other work.

So you keep saying.  Lets leave it at that.

-- 
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).



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