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Re: [!NEWS] The GNUtards Must Be Crazy

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: [!NEWS] The GNUtards Must Be Crazy
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 11:51:13 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081209)

Rjack wrote:
"ยง 103. Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and derivative works.
You are not only incorrect, you helpfully post refutations
to your own assertions!

(b) The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only
to the material contributed by the author of such work, as
distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work,
and does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material.

This simply means that the creator of a derivative work or
compilation gains no special rights to the preexisting material.
This is precisely what gives the GPL its force.

The copyright in such work is independent of, and does not affect or
enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any
copyright protection in the preexisting material."

This simply means, given that copyrights are time limited, that
creating a derivative or combined work does not lengthen the
copyright period of the preexisting material.

That tautology is true of any contract -- you don't *have* to accept
it. That fact doesn't make an illegal term in a contract any less
illegal since, presumably, some folks want the GPL to have legal effect.

Fortunately, the terms of the GPL are thoroughly legal. See this:

> the difference between "obiter dicta" and "rationes decidendi"

Spin and twist, twist and spin. There's always some excuse to
disregard the obvious truth. But you fool only yourself.

As I have said before, the place where the FSF is persistently incorrect
is in maintaining that a program which dynamically links to GPLed code is
itself bound by the GPL. But that is not an illegal provision in the GPL.
The GPL will simply not apply in such a case because there has been no
use of GPLed material in the program.

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