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Re: Question About GNU General Public License

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: Question About GNU General Public License
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 12:45:48 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.1002 (Gnus v5.10.2) Emacs/21.2 (gnu/linux)

I wrote:
> In the US it is settled law that elements of a derivative that contain
> only unprotected elements of the original do not infringe.

Stefaan writes:
> Would this imply that a compiled version of a program does not infringe
> as it is a purely mechanical transformation...

That does not follow at all.  If I set up a system to mechanically scan
your book, OCR it, and print it out the result would certainly be an
infringing copy despite it having been mechanically transformed to a
different format and a different type face.  My point has to do with the
absence of protected elements, not mechanical transformation.

> ...or does that simply mean that the source and the binary are considered
> the same for copyright purposes?

The latter, I believe.  I think the argument is that mechanical
transformation cannot create any protected elements, so if any are present
in the output of such a process they must have been present in the input.

More correct, IMHO, would be to argue that the binary is a derivative of
the source and the compiler.
John Hasler (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI

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