[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: GPL traitor !

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 16:18:18 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

Alan Mackenzie wrote:
Then the issue becomes what is meant by "present".

The plaintiff points to a sequence in the allegedly infringing text
and demonstrates that the sequence has been copied from their original
work. Or the plaintiff presents other evidence that the defendant
made unauthorized copies.

That program can only be written by copying the (copyrighted) API
> source code, directly or indirectly, into the programs code.

That is false. Programs are written to invoke API elements by name.
That is not copyright violation, because of interoperability and
because it is the only way to write such code. When there is only
one way to write something, copyrights cannot be enforced on that

I'm talking about a single program.

No you are not. We are talking about writing an add-in to an existing
program. There are thus two programs, the add-in and the existing program.
These are two separate pieces of text. It is irrelevant for copyright
purposes that in execution the two programs will be found together.
Copyright is about copying, not about operation.

Am I really?  Are you not?

Yes you are, and yes I'm not.

Again, there is no such concept as "derived from other work" in copyright

Sorry, a derivative work means one which is derived from pure
nothingness.  My mistake.  ;-)

A derivative work is a significant transformation of an existing work
by a human author. Text in a computer program which is meant to represent
invocation of methods defined elsewhere is not a transformation of those
functions. Such a computer program is not a derivative work of those
functions. A work "derived from" another can mean any number of things,
and I am not comfortable in saying that a work is not "derived from"
another when it is simply not a derivative work of the other.

Agreed, even though the "only" aspect of Alice's copyrighted work in
Bob's binaries is a highly abstract convoluted transformation,
discernible only with long-winded difficult analysis.

Not really difficult; you prove that Bob did it by finding people who
saw him do it. If you can convince people based on the analysis, then
you can do that too.

Sorry no, not always.  It's possible, but can be difficult, as in the
scenarios below.  If the infringement consists of a translation to a
different language, it will require painstaking analysis to detect.

How does the complainant know that the infringement happened? Unless he's
psychic, he must have some sort of evidence. He may have evidence based on
witnesses seeing the infringement being committed, or he has evidence based
upon noticing similarities. He then has to convince a court with that same

False.  Bob will have to begin with the existing code (whether source
or object is irrelevant, you have said), since he requires the .h file
(or equivalent) which describes the format of the intermediate code.

Bob is not copying that file. He writes the text '#include "generator.h"'.
If I write the text "Copy verbatim the text of the Harry Potter novels."
I have not copied the text of the Harry Potter novels. If he presents his
source code to a compiler, the compiler will read that file, but the
output of the compiler is not subject to the copyright on that file unless
the compiler copies significant portions of that file into the output. In
any case, the source is not subject to that copyright because the source
does not contain a copy of the file. Copyright is about copies.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]