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Re: GPL traitor !

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 18:01:14 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.92 (gnu/linux)

Hyman Rosen <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>> Dynamic linking delays the act of copying, but it remains an
>> essential integral part of putting the program to its intended
>> use.
> The difference between static and dynamic linking is that in
> static linking the copying occurs as part of making and
> distributing the program, and in dynamic linking the copying
> occurs, if it does, as part of running the program. This is not
> an irrelevant detail; it's an essential difference.

It isn't.  The essential copy is the copy in the computer main memory,
and that is the same whether you link dynamically or statically.

Whether you deliver a script which does the static linking, or whether
you call the dynamic linker makes no difference.

> First of all, copyright in a computer program exists when that program
> is written. The nature of the copyright does not change with the
> execution of the program; even if the program is never executed at all
> its copyright is no different than if it is executed a million times a
> day.

So what?

> Second, if execution of the program results in some copying of
> some protected work, that copying is separate from the copying
> of the program itself.

The in-memory running copy that actually is the intended (and only
sensible) use and copy is what counts.

> Not least, that copying is done by the person who executes the
> program, not by the copyright holder of the program.

Nonsense.  The copying is done by the dynamic library loader according
to the instructions of the program author.

> Fourth, any copying of dynamic libraries which occurs for the
> purpose of executing the program is permitted by US copyright
> law:
>     <>
>     § 117. Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs
>     (a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.
>     — Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an
>     infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to
>     make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of
>     that computer program provided:

The owner of the copy.  But the one doing the commands for making the
copy is the owner of the upstream main program.

>     (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an
>     essential step in the utilization of the computer program in
>     conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other
>     manner

But it is not at the choice or the will of the copy's owner that the
creation of the copy happens, but as an integral part of the upstream
authors program's intended operation, according to the upstream author's

If the upstream author sells his program as a working program rather
than a piece of binary garbage that serves no intent except possibly
instructional intent for people into reverse engineering, than it is
clearly _his_ intent and will and command that puts the library into

>> If you construct guns that work with standard ammunition,
>> even if you never sell ammunition yourself, you'll still
>> have weapon laws apply to your products.
> The requirements and limitations of copyright law are determined
> by studying copyright law. Arms law has no relevance to copyright
> law, nor have you demonstrated with reference to actual US law
> that there are arms laws which would cause a program using dynamic
> libraries to fall under their copyrights.


David Kastrup

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