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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 23:52:03 -0000

In gnu.misc.discuss Isaac <> wrote:
> On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 05:44:04 -0000, 
> <> <> wrote:
>> 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).

> You want that project legitimately, but you don't want the implications
> that come with invoking that protection.  That may not be possible.
> Microsoft accomplishes it by telling users what they can and cannot
> link to on their own systems.  Sony accomplishes it by using encryption
> and invoking the DMCA. 

The public have been sold the idea that IP laws (particularly copyright)
are of benefit to the entire nation because they foster creativity and
protect the author/musician/programmer from nasty "pirates".

Notwithstanding the details of the mechanism, if a court ruled that
GPL works intrinsically deserved less protection than equivalent
proprietary works it would be broadly unpopular and make an excellent
platform for demonstrating that our IP laws are designed primarily
to support large corporate publishing companies. I don't believe that
any of the big corporates want to attract such a test case right at
this moment.

Our legal system doesn't exist by handing out deterministic judgements
in a vacuum. It is closely tied with the political climate and with
the prevailing attitudes of the time. The larger the Open Source movement
grows and the more people see GPL style protection as legitimate, the
more difficult it gets for a court to disenfranchise those people.

        - Tel

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