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Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code

From: Lee Hollaar
Subject: Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2004 11:05:43 +0000 (UTC)

In article <> Stefaan A Eeckels 
<> writes:
>I've indeed argued that dynamic linking does not make
>the program a derivative work of the library, whereas
>static linking does indeed produce a work that is a
>derivative work of both the library and the original
>code of the program. 

In United States copyright law, that is more property called
a "compilation" -- " a work formed by the collection and assembling
of preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated,
or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole
constitutes an original work of authorship."

There are multiple copyrights in a compilation.  Any copyrights
in the underlying works continue to exist, and there is a new
copyright on the particular selection and arrangement of the
compilation.  The permission of all copyright owners are then
required for the reproduction or distribution of the compilation.

That explains why a statically-linked program with a GPLed
library requires it to be GPL (there is a compilation being
distributed) but the same is not true for dynamic linking
(no compilation is formed until after the distribution).

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