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Re: GPL code reuse questions

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Re: GPL code reuse questions
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 20:59:50 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)


On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 12:08:45AM +0200, Samuel Thibault wrote:

> No need to care about license stuff: fold that into a separate
> process, and voilĂ  :)

It's not that simple. What constitutes a derived work cannot be decided
based on process boundaries alone. After all, processes (i.e. adress
spaces) are just a technical detail. What really matters is whether the
components interact "at arms length" (as the GPL FAQ calls it) -- it
would be ridiculous to treat each Hurd server as an independent work.

OTOH, just because programs communicate using Hurd interfaces, doesn't
mean they are automatically derived works. Where exactly is the cutoff
line? Hard to say -- it's often a matter of discretion. And as few
actual court rulings exist on such matters, it's hard to guess how
things really stand if someone decides to sue...

Note that with Hurd servers, we have another problem though: they
generally link the Hurd server libraries, which thus are clearly bound
by the Hurd license conditions.

I sent an inquiry about the implications to licensing@gnu.org half a
year ago, but never got any reply :-(


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