[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: Tue, 12 May 2009 09:27:42 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

David Kastrup wrote:
But the extension makes no sense without being put into place.

Copyright law does not require "sense" from a copyrighted work.
A copyrighted work is a piece of text. The author of a computer
program acquires copyright in the work as it is written, whether
or not it "works", whether or not it is ever executed.

> I can't circumvent weapon laws by selling guns and bullets
> separately and claiming that either are completely harmless.

That is because weapons laws don't talk about harmful or harmless.
They enumerate precisely what may or may not be done. They are not
relevant to copyright.

If something clearly is useless as a separate entity, and is exclusively
intended for a combined use, than pretending its separateness will not
convince anybody.

There is no need for pretense. Copyright is not about whether or how
things work, it is about text. The author of the text of a program
acquires copyright to the program. That the text can or must be bound
with another program in order to function is not relevant to copyright.

For example, such an extension might be perfectly fine if you can make
reasonably plausible that it is intended solely (or even primarily) as a
_textbook_ _example_.

Again, there is no need to argue or pretend. If the new work does not
contain copied parts of another work, then the copyright of the other
work is irrelevant to the new work, even if the new work is designed
solely to interoperate with the old one. Copyright is about text, not

Copyright laws and their interpretation are a mess.  It is sound advice
to avoid the grey areas if you don't want to get mud on your shoes.

There are no gray areas here. There is simply an attempt to claim violation
where none exists in order to force behavior that is not legally required.

reply via email to

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