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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 09:31:28 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

David Kastrup wrote:
We are talking about the actions taken by the computer programmer
pursuant to loading and using a dynamically loaded library as an
integral part of the executing program.  Not about the computer.  A
computer is not a legally responsible entity.

The computer programmer prepares a program that contains no
copies of GPLed work. Therefore copying and transmitting that
program may be done without reference to the GPL, or to J.K.
Rowling, or Isaac Asimov, or Donald Knuth, or anyone else
whose work is similarly absent from the program.

When the program is executed, the actions taken by the computer
in order to load and run dynamic libraries are specifically
declared to be non-infringing 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:
    (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

Even if you were correct (which you are not) that "responsibility"
for executing the program was assigned to the author of the work
rather than to the person running the program, that still fails to
cause any GPL violations, because the person who executes the
program is the owner of the dynamic libraries on his machine, and
the quoted law allows him to _authorize_ making copies essential
to execution.

You are simply wrong, and no amount of twisting and spinning is
going to change that. Programs which link dynamically to GPLed
libraries do not become bound by the GPL for that ability.

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