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Re: Questions on proprietary program using gcc libraries

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Questions on proprietary program using gcc libraries
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 12:59:19 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.4 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 Rui Miguel Seabra <> wrote:

> On Tue, 2004-07-20 at 16:45 +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
> > Alexander Terekhov <> writes:
> > 
> > > Barry Margolin wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > > > Statically and dynamically linked "packages" are compilations, not
> > > > > derivative works.
> > > > 
> > > > OK, but the copyright owner has control over use of his work in
> > > > compilations, so the GPL still applies. 
> > > 
> > > Nope. I own all those copies included in the compilations. First 
> > > sale.
> > 
> > First sale does not give you control over the work.  It gives you
> > particular usage rights for the copy.
> Which do not include copying. So the copyright holder still has a say on
> how his works can be copied, in part or in whole.

Right.  Unless you're talking about something like a collage, making a 
compilation pretty much always requires making new copies.  And in the 
case we're talking about, static linking with a library always involves 
copying bits and pieces from the library that was distributed to you to 
the executable file that you're creating.  If the library's copyright 
holder doesn't authorize that copying, you can't do it legally.

And if you then redistribute the linked executable, you're making 
*additional* copies of the pieces of the library that were incorporated 
into it.

I suppose you *might* be able to make a case for use of the first sale 
doctrine if you had a linker that deleted a module from the library as 
it put it into the resulting executable.  This would be analogous to 
making a collage, where you cut up the original and move the pieces into 
the resulting work.  Each component of the library could only be used 
once.  And to stay legitimate, you wouldn't be able to make multiple 
copies of the resulting executable -- for each executable you wanted to 
distribute, you would have to purchase another copy of the library, link 
it with your objects, and delete your instance of the executable when 
you distribute it to someone else.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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