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Re: GPL and other licences

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPL and other licences
Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 18:56:57 +0100

Lee Hollaar wrote:
> In article <> writes:
> >Furthermore, 17 USC 117 entitles the owner of a lawfully made copy
> >(source code see above) to distribute those additional copies (in
> >object code form see above) "along with the copy from which such
> >copies were prepared".
> That's not really what it says, especially if the copy contains
> modifications. 

My reading of what it says is that if a copy contains modifications 
than it's an adaptation and not an "exact" copy. I know that 
adaptations may be transferred only with the authorization of the 
copyright owner. I don't think that unmodifed copies in object code 
form fall under adaptations.

The Copyright Act defines a computer program as "a set of
statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in
a computer in order to bring about a certain result. " 17 U.S.C.
§ 101. Computer programs can be expressed in either source
code or object code. "Source code is the computer program
code as the programmer writes it, using a particular programming
language." Compendium of Copyright Office Practices,
§ 321.01. Source code is a high level language that people can
readily understand. "Object code is the representation of the
program in machine language [binary] . . . which the computer
executes." Id. at § 321.02. Source code usually must be
compiled, or interpreted, into object code before it can be 
executed by a computer. Object code can also be decompiled into
source code. Source code and object code are "two representations
of the same computer program. For registration purposes,
the claim is in the computer program rather than in any
particular representation of the program." Id. at § 321.03.
However, source code created by decompiling object code
will not necessarily be identical to the source code that was
compiled to create the object code.


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