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Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 02:54:30 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

Rahul Dhesi wrote:
Who caused libGNU to load into memory? The end-user or the author? I
submit that both did, because each is a link in the chain without which
the final load of libGNU would not have occurred.

Both the copyright statute and the GPL allow a program to be run,
so assigning responsibility is irrelevant.

If the author is distributing libGNU and HyProg
together such that they will be used together, and HyProg requires
libGNU, then the author has ventured beyond mere aggregation.

That isn't relevant either, because...

> The HyProg + libGNU combination is now a single work, because both pieces
are loaded together when the author's instructions are followed. doesn't matter how the programs act when they run.
When HyProg is distributed, it is not affected by the
copyright on libGNU because it does not contain libGNU.

Is this a derivative work or a mere collection?

HyProg is not a collection including libGNU because it does not
contain libGNU, most certainly not while it is being conveyed.
It is not a derivative work of libGNU because it is not a changed
version of libGNU at all, much less with enough changes to be
considered a significant work of authorship.

Is an automobile a mere collection of engine, wheels, and other parts?

Of what relevance is that? Copyright on a work controls what may
be done with that work, not with others that happen to refer to it
or make use of it but do not copy it.

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