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Re: [ROFL] GCC's GPLv3 "Updated License Exception"

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: [ROFL] GCC's GPLv3 "Updated License Exception"
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 15:28:33 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss 7 <> wrote:
> Hyman Rosen wrote:

> Wrong fool!

No, I think you might actually be the right one.

> As I write the assembler code for how a switch statement is implemented,
> then I have copyright over it no matter how it gets subsequently used.
> The assembler code for the switch statement is not generated
> 'automatically'. The exact sequence is something I have to creatively
> interpret and put together reading CPU specification. 

The degree of creativity involved in writing a few comparison and
conditional/unconditional jump instructions is too low to merit
copyright, just as composing the sentence "This is silly." would be.

> Very often I look at how others have implemented the switch statement.
> Some are brilliant shortcuts. Some are just average brilliant. Others
> are mediocre. And a few down right stupid.

> If I were proud of my method, I would not want anyone to use it without
> copyright protecting it, especially if I felt (and other agree) that
> my solution is better than anyone elses. Thats creative work.

If you're talking about coding a switch statement, the creativity is
almost entirely that of designers of the chip's instruction set.  Given
that instruction set, there're at most a handful of ways of doing a

> After that point, it doesn't matter how a compiler mixes and mashes
> the output, the structure of how the switch statement got implemented
> will contain my brilliant piece of assembler arranged like poetry
> in a particular sequence and then copied over and over again for each
> ocurance of the switch statement.

No it won't.  The assembler will only exist if the user asks for an
object code listing - hardly ever.  And it won't be what you wrote, since
you didn't write in the destinations of the jump instructions; they
derive from the author of the C source.

> That original arragement template didn't discover itself! That is the
> original work of authorship.


> In other words, the arangement of assembler is like arrangement
> of passages in a musical score - and if I have copyright, then
> no one should be using that particular arrangement without
> some acknowledgement to copyright. 

No, your arrangement of "assembler" is is like the F major chord with
suspended G at the beginning of Lennon and McCartney's "Yesterday".  You
don't get copyright on a single musical chord devoid of context.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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