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Re: GPL traitor !

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 16:05:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.92 (gnu/linux)

Hyman Rosen <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>> An executable image stored in parts is still an executable image.  Just
>> because the assembly happens on-demand does not change the intent.  As
>> long as there is no conceivable use without the (automatic and planned)
>> assembly, the exact time frame of the assembly is not really relevant.
> You keep talking about intent, but even if that mattered,
> which it does not, US copyright law specifically declares
> the copying needed to execute a program on a machine to be
> non-infringing.

But we are not talking about copying, but assembling.  The act of
creating a mere in-memory copy does not cause additional worries, as
this is the _intended_ use of the copy.  But dynamic linking is not mere
copying, it is _assembling_ the separate parts into a coherent whole
executable in a single memory space.

> But there is no such thing as prohibiting the copying of a
> work due to "future intent to create a collective work using
> that work plus other copyrighted elements". If you would just
> step back a moment from your ridiculous need to find GPL
> violations where they cannot possibly exist, you would see
> for yourself how nonsensical that sounds.

The whole point is that delaying the time of assembling a working whole
and making an automatically invoked procedure for it does not suddenly
create a new legal situation or remove responsibilities.

> Further, you speak of "an executable stored in parts". But the
> fundamental aspect that you erroneously choose to disregard is
> that some of those parts, namely the GPL-copyrighted dynamic
> libraries, are not being copied by the author of the program,
> nor are they being distributed along with the program.

They are assembled with the other parts of the program at runtime,
according to preordained instructions by the program author, as an
unavoidable part of starting the program.

And on a demand-paged operating system (like pretty much every system
nowadays), executables are loaded into the physical address space
piecemeal and on-demand.  Whether or not you have used static or dynamic
linking.  Does that make a demand-paged executable an aggregation of
independent parts?  Certainly not, since the program operates as a
coherent whole in virtual memory space.

> Those parts are separately present on the machine which will execute
> the program, and any copying that occurs during the execution is
> specifically declared non-infringing by US copyright law.

Copying, not linking.  Linking is not just copying.

David Kastrup

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