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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Hadron
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Sat, 09 May 2009 19:19:49 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.0.90 (gnu/linux)

Alan Mackenzie <> writes:

> In gnu.misc.discuss Hyman Rosen <> wrote:
>> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>>> Do you mean that if somebody adds functionality to GPL program, and
>>> arranges for this new functionality to be called through a socket call
>>> (substitute technically correct terms here) rather than a normal function
>>> call, that somebody can remain within the terms of the GPL without
>>> licensing his new stuff under the GPL, regardless of how intertwined the
>>> new functionality is with the original program?  If so, I think you're
>>> mistaken.  But please try and convince me otherwise.
>> Yes, that's what I mean. Doing it by function call is OK as well.
>> The only thing that forces the foreign code to come under the GPL
>> is if the binary program is built as a statically linked whole
>> incorporating the GPL and non-GPL code. It is that binding into a
>> single work that makes the non-GPL portion fall under the "work as
>> a whole" clause and requires that all of it be distributed under
>> the GPL.
> That's one of the things that requires GPL licensing.  The overarching
> thing that mandates new code being licensed under the GPL is its being a
> modification of a GPL program.
>> You appear to believe that modifying the source of a GPLed program
>> so that it invokes a function which is provided separately under a
>> non-GPL license violates the GPL even when the modified program is
>> distributed *as source*. Is that true?
> No.  If the invoked function is truly separate (e.g., calling an emailing
> library function from  GCC), it needn't be GPL'd.  If the invoked
> function is essentially a part of the calling program, it must also be
> GPL.  

"essentially" : non definite.

> This is covered by section 2 of GPL2 ("... and can be reasonably
> considered independent and separate works in themselves ...") and

"reasonably" : non definite.

> section 5 of GPL3 ("...  which are not by their nature extensions of the
> covered work, and which are not combined with it such as to form a larger
> program ....").
>> If so, then you are certainly incorrect, since copyright law contains
>> no concept of a computer program "working".
> Sadly, neither do some software engineers.  ;-(
>> Copyright law doesn't consider functionality, just text, just
>> expression.
> Copyright licenses for software do however deal with functionality.
> Copyright law also has the notion of "derived works".

Where were we on your assertions that the GPL is "easy" for anyone to

With all due respect Alan, your claims are looking more and more
ridiculous. And each post you make reinforces just how incorrect and
living in la-la land you were when you made those claims.

In view of all the deadly computer viruses that have been spreading
lately, Weekend Update would like to remind you: when you link up to
another computer, you’re linking up to every computer that that
computer has ever linked up to. — Dennis Miller

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