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Re: More GPL questions

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: More GPL questions
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 17:49:53 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:

> On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 14:51:48 +0200
> David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:
>> > An original program in source code format, and contains function
>> > and/or system calls does not consist of "revisions, annotations,
>> > elaborations or other modifications" to the libraries or the OS.
>> Sigh.  But a literary work consisting of annotations does not contain
>> material from the original work.  It is, as a whole, an original work
>> of authorship.
> You cannot "annotate, revise, elaborate or otherwise modify" without
> anything of the original work.

I have here a secondary literary work covering "Ulysses", consisting
pretty much exclusively of annotations.  Where there are citations,
they are short enough not to count as copyrightable in itself.  But it
certainly is a derivative work.

> Programs that use a library or an OS are not "revisions,
> annotations, elaborations or other modifications" of the library or
> the OS.

Naturally.  So one has to translate the examples from the context of
literary works to that of computer programs.

>> > It's a wholly new work. It contains _no_ code from the libraries
>> > or the OS, and thus it cannot be a derivative work.
>> But in the literary case, exactly that does _not_ hold, according
>> to the letter of the law.
> In the specific case of "annotations, revisions, elaborations and
> other modifications", which supposes that there is a work that is
> revised, annotated, elaborated or otherwise modified". Are you
> claiming that all programs are modifications, elaborations,
> revisions and annotations of the OS and the libraries?

I am not claiming any such thing.  I am just saying that the lack of
direct verbatim inclusion of a copyrightable amount of material is not
a necessity in the explanation for literary works, and so it is not
obvious why it would have to be a necessary criterion in the case of

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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