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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: telford
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 05:44:04 -0000

In gnu.misc.discuss Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:

> Let's be candid about what behavior we want to affect by our 
> reciprocal licenses. I believe we want to make sure that changes, 
> bug fixes and enhancements to our software are returned to the 
> commons. But we don't want to discourage the use of our open 
> source software in combination with other software, proprietary 
> or open.

I'll be completely candid with you. I DO wish to discourage the
use of my GPL software in combination with other proprietary software,
especially when the proprietary software depends on my code for

> By distinguishing between *derivative works* and 
> *collective works* as the copyright law itself does, we can 
> better achieve this balance.

I do NOT want my work that I release under GPL to provide support
for other work that is not under GPL either as a derivative work
OR as a collective work. What possible reason would I have for
wanting such a thing? I want the best possible protection for my
work, and I believe I have the right to at least as much protection
as anyone else is getting (including Microsoft, Apple, Sony, etc).

> The courts may ultimately make clearer the sorts of 
> transformations of software that result in the creation of 
> a derivative work. In the meantime, I have found no case that 
> even suggests that the mere linking of one black-box program to 
> another results in the creation of a derivative work of either. 
> And why should it?

Then explain why it costs around $100,000 just in license fees
to release a game for the Sony PS2 (NOT including the cost of
writing or testing even one line of code). Would you say that writing
a game to run on the PS2 platform was a case of one black-box linking
to another black-box?

By the way, Sony isn't the odd man out, Sega, Nintendo and the rest
all control their respective markets in a similar manner.

        - Tel

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