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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 19:46:17 +0200

Hyman Rosen wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > According to the FSF (the GPL drafter), this copying falls under
>  > "mere aggregation", Hyman.
> No, you are incorrect. "Mere aggregation" is the placing of
> multiple separate programs onto a single medium for convenience
> in distribution. It is not the linking together of multiple
> components into a single binary file to form a complete program.

Whatever you call a "complete program" is utterly irrelevant, Hyman.

In alternative, consider also: 

b) Copyright Misuse 

By imposing GPL § 2(b) on licensees, copyright owners try to magnify 
their rights beyond those sanctioned by the Copyright Act in two 
different ways. First, Section 103 of the Copyright Act allocates 
ownership rights to authorized derivative works to the author to 
incentivize further investment in additional creativity.274 In contrast, 
Section 2(b) of the GPL, requires creators of derivative works to 
forfeit their exclusion rights and any chance to generate licensing 
revenue.275 Second, if the term “derived work” were found to encompass 
more than “derivative works” and included, for example, compilations and 
other forms of software combinations, Section 2(b) of the GPL would seek 
to prohibit activities that Section 106 of the Copyright has not 
reserved for copyright owners and thus exponentially increase the impact 
caused by the first copyright magnifying mechanism.276 

Given the fact that copyright misuse is an equitable concept under U.S. 
law, it is difficult to predict if and how a court would apply this 
doctrine in the context of the GPL. On one hand, the non-profit status 
and idealistic goals pursued by the proponents and original adopters of 
the GPL may sway courts in favor of the GPL. On the other hand, the 
“copyleft” policy manifested in the GPL seems a more direct attack on 
the delicate balance between access and protection in the Copyright 
Act277 than any other licensing practice that has so far caused courts 
to find copyright misuse.278 In fact, the intended objective behind 
Section 2(b) of the GPL is to eliminate the effects of copyright 
protection for computer programs and generally replace it by the rules 
of the GPL.279 This flies in the face of the many decisions by U.S. 
courts that found it necessary to protect economic interests of software 
copyright owners who pursued proprietary licensing models.280 Also, more 
and more companies use the GPL for purposes other than idealism. If 
courts enforce clauses like Section 2(b) of the GPL, they would probably 
also have to accept it if proprietary software companies start 
prohibiting combinations of their programs with other software beyond 
the boundaries of the Copyright Act. This could have potentially 
significant implications for interoperability. 

Thus, for purposes of U.S. copyright law, Section 2(b) of the GPL seems 
to raise significant issues under the doctrine of copyright misuse, 
particularly, if it were interpreted to cover more than derivative works 
as defined by the Copyright Act. 


(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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