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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 2004 16:48:47 +0200

Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> 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.

Good. Thank you.

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

You mean the tarball? In metaphysical sense, yes. But I mean 
copyright. Under your theory, "tar" is a rather dangerous utility.

It's sort of akin to


We asked at oral argument what would happen if a purchaser jotted 
a note on one of the note cards, or used it as a coaster for a 
drink, or cut it in half, or if a collector applied his seal (as 
is common in Japan); Lee's counsel replied that such changes 
prepare derivative works, but that as a practical matter artists 
would not file suit. A definition of derivative work that makes 
criminals out of art collectors and tourists is jarring despite 
Lee's gracious offer not to commence civil litigation.


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

Really? Sez who? (Besides you and other GNUtians, that is.)

> 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.

<quote author=Hollaar>

Substituting an alternative module for one supplied by Microsoft 
may not violate copyright law, and certainly not because of any 
"integrity of the work" argument. The United States recognizes 
"moral rights" of attribution and integrity only for works of 
visual art in limited editions of 200 or fewer copies. (See 17 
U.S.C. 106A and the definition of "work of visual art" in 17 
U.S.C. 101.) A bookstore can replace the last chapter of a 
mystery novel without infringing its copyright, as long as they 
are not reprinting the other chapters but are simply removing 
the last chapter and replacing it with an alternative one, but 
must not pass the book off as the original. Having a copyright 
in a work does not give that copyright owner unlimited freedom 
in the terms he can impose.


Note that the GPL does allow "reprinting". That's sections 1
(source code) and 3 (object code), not section 2 (recasting).


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