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Re: More GPL questions

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: More GPL questions
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 18:44:13 +0200

David Kastrup wrote:
> While the SDK library is not derived from Qt, the complete example
> program is derived from both SDK library and Qt.  

Hey ldb, GNUtian dak means "GNU-derived" (see unwritten GNU Copyleft 
Act). It has really nothing to do with software "derivative works" 
under copyright which protects software as literary works modulo the 
AFC test.

Some have claimed that an application program that needs a library 
for its operation is a derivative work of that library. They take 
that position because the application program is “based on” the 
library because it was written to use the subroutines and other 
aspects of the library.

Such a position is misplaced. 


It could be argued that the component program really does include 
portions of the library that it uses – data structures that are 
passed as parameters, or even the parameter lists themselves. But 
elements dictated by external considerations are filtered out when 
trying to determine whether there is copyright infringement.

No other conclusion makes sense. If it were not the case, then any 
program using the applications program interfaces (APIs) of an 
operating system could be considered a derivative work of that 
operating system. And, under the exclusive right to prepare 
derivative works, the copyright owner of an operating system such 
as Microsoft Windows could control who was allowed to write 
programs for that operating system.

Same author also wrote this:

One can tie oneself in knots trying to make sense of the GPL and
the statements made about it.  It ignores provisions of the copyright
statutes that allow the modification or redistribution of works
without permission of the copyright owner.  It talks about "derived"
works which don't seem to be the same as "derivative works."  And
the explanations from RMS and others often make little sense, as
in the case where something was a derived work until somebody wrote
a non-GPLed math library compatible with the GPLed one. 

Consider also


consider the case of two scientific papers which reference each other.
The fact that paper B calls paper A (references it for support) does
not make B a derivative work of A. This remains true whether B and A
are published together in a symposium (analogous to static linkage) or
separately (analogous to dynamic linkage). Computer programs are
defined in 17 USC as literary works


Note also that exclusive distribution right is severely limited by
"first sale".

Finally, regarding ESR's statement "FSF has stated its willingness to
go to court for this position", don't believe it.

<quote copyright=Free Software Foundation>

Don't go to court

 FSF hasn't.
 Court is expensive
 Judges don't understand technology
   "Is static linking like two icons on one desktop?"
       -Judge Saris, MySQL v. Nusphere oral argument


Translation: the FSF doesn't really believe that they could fool a
judge into buying

[begin textual copying copyrightFree Software Foundation]

July 27, 2004 GPL Compliance for Software Developers Legal notes

Legal notes

Static linking creates a derivative work through textual copying

Most dynamic linking cases involve distributing the library

Still a derivative work:

Dynamic linking

Distributing only the executable (testtriangle)

Still a derivative work:

Distributing the source code of software which links to a library

[end textual copying]

FSF's "legal notes" idiocy.


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