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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Hadron
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 15:18:06 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.0.90 (gnu/linux)

Hyman Rosen <> writes:

> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> We have been discussing, in the main, a single computer program,
>  > the GCC compiler.
> No, we have not. We have been discussing a single computer program,
> written from scratch, whose source code contains no part of the code
> of GCC, but is written in a stylized way such that it may be bound
> into a single executable also containing the rest of GCC and which
> then will interoperate with the rest of GCC to carry out some function.
> I assert that the source code of this separately written part does not
> fall under the copyright of GCC and may be distributed under any terms
> the author wishes.
>> It DOESN'T mean that they can crack MS-Word and plug code for ODF into
>> it.
> Please reread section (4):
>      (4) For purposes of this subsection, the term “interoperability”
>      means the ability of computer programs to exchange information,
>      and of such programs mutually to use the information which has been
>      exchanged.
> I do not believe that your interpretation is correct. Adding a plug-in
> to an existing program appears to be the very exemplar of programs
> mutually using exchanged information.
>  > And it also only applies in the USA.
> The Berne Convention and the WIPO Copyright Treaty act as homogenizing
> influences. But if you wish to regard my arguments as applying only to
> the USA, that's fine with me.
>> Stop being so evasive.  Courts understand that there is a thing "a
>> program", as contrasted with "173 lbs. of programming" - it is coherent
>> whole with well defined boundaries separating it from the rest of the
>> universe, just as a novel is.
> <>
> The SFLC's own web site describes the abstraction-filtration-comparison
> test used to determine copyright violation for computer programs. One of
> the things that is filtered away is elements dictated by external factors:
>      [] the mechanical specifications of the computer on which a particular
>      program is intended to run;
>      [] compatibility requirements of other programs with which a program
>      is designed to operate in conjunction;
>      [] computer manufacturers’ design standards;
>      [] demands of the industry being serviced; and
>      [] widely accepted programming practices within the computer industry
> Notice the second item? Notice "operate in conjunction"? You are simply wrong
> in your assumptions.
>> Extracting a piece of a program into a separate library file doesn't
>> make it any less a part of that program.
> And you keep talking about extraction when no such thing has taken
> place, if by extraction you mean copying. Studying a program to
> learn how to interoperate with it and writing code which fits in is
> not prohibited by US copyright law - the law specifically allows it.
>> You're [deliberately?] failing to distinguish between writing your own
>> program and extending somebody else's.
> Because there is no distinction provided there is no copying.
>> If you do the second, you do it with the permission of the other program's
>> copyright holder.
> No, you are completely wrong. You do not need permission from the other
> copyright holder unless you copy. Copyright is about copying. US copyright
> law explicitly protects interoperability with other programs. You are
> inventing concepts to suit your purposes that simply do not exist in US
> copyright law - their opposites do.

That's funny. You're still talking about. What happened to Alan#s claim
that the GPL was really easy to understand?

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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