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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: Rui Miguel Seabra
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 2004 14:57:51 +0100

On Wed, 2004-07-07 at 15:30 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> > On Wed, 2004-07-07 at 14:25 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > > purely source code distribution. How can an aggregation of the
> > > CPL'ed and the GPL'ed stuff (e.g. in a tarball) possibly
> > > trigger "GPL incompatibility"?
> > Because it's not the mere aggregation on a tarball.
> Sure it is. As long as CPL'ed works are NOT derivative works of the
> GPL'ed works. Just apply the AFC test (and eat some dust ;-) ).
> It's when it's impossible for one to exist without the other.
> Define "exist" (just for fun; because what you're driving at is 
> totally irrelavant; software is protected as literary works).

*sigh* no. No one said CPL'ed works are derivate works of GPL'ed works.

Only that the end result is a derivate of both works.

If one can't work without the other it's not mere aggregation.

Imagine a book written by some guy. Now, you wrote lines of text that
combined with the lines of the other book in an alternate way creates a
new work.

Without the other book, what you wrote transmits nothing but gibberish.

This would be similar to a progra linking with a library.
In a book, working means being possible to read it, the phrases make
sense and transmit messages.
In a program, working means running a series of calculuses with one end

You wrote _one_part_, that is not the final work. The final work is the
combination of both parts. A derivate. It is impossible to run the new
program without the other part, just as it is impossible to read the new
book without the other one mixed in.

      book -> ability to read
  software -> ability to run

To distribute the new book (derivate resulting from the creative mixing
of one book with your lines) you need the other author's permission,
just as well as in the case of a library software you need the author's

The GPL grants you that permission IF AND ONLY IF, the end result is
GPL'ed itself. If you don't want to do it that way, fine. Don't include
the software. You're not distributing two books that you can read
independently, you're distributing a new book that is the derivate of

> > Try running /bin/ls without a libc, you'll find it enlightening.
> All windows programs can't run without Microsoft code. And MS code
> can't run without things like BIOS, adapter's code and micro-code
> in the processors. Under your theory, Intel can tax everybody and
> his dog.

*sigh* try running gnome-cd without any gnome library, if you need a
clearer distinction from a basic operating system (graphical desktop and
gnome are not needed for computing, just for some desktop tasks).

It's the same. The libraries are part of the work.


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