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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 22:35:25 +0200

Hyman Rosen wrote:
> 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
> thing.
> > 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
> >> law.
> >
> > 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
> evidence.
> > 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.


See also "mere aggregation".


(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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