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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 12:23:42 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

David Kastrup wrote:
The executed memory image will contain them.  That is the whole point.
Do you actually _know_ the mechanisms of dynamic linking?  It does not
appear like you do.

The mechanisms of dynamic linking are irrelevant. The executed
memory image is irrelevant. When copying and distributing a
program, the only thing which matters to copyright law is the
contents of the program being distributed. Those contents do
not contain the dynamic libraries which the program will use
upon execution, and thus no permission from the rights holders
of those libraries is required.

Copyright is about copying text. Copyright law does not consider
what a program does upon execution (except to declare any essential
copies made during execution to be non-infringing). The copyright
of a computer program does not change based upon what a program
does when executed. The copyright on a computer program does not
change if it is never executed or if it is executed millions of
times a day.

Oh, you are talking about a commissioned work

You continue to be sadly confused. I was demonstrating that even
under some of your own erroneous assumptions you would still be
wrong about the program being covered by the GPL. But never mind

The person who executes a computer program is responsible for its
actions. Exceptions for computer virus transmitters are written
specifically into law.

Loading dynamic libraries, combining everything into a single
memory image when running, modifying the dynamic library while
loading it, all of these things are non-infringing actions by
specific declaration of US copyright law.

It certainly is non-infringing in its own, but it does not suddenly
dissolve any other infringement.  If you don't have permission to use
the library in a particular way, you don't magically get the permission
because you create a copy in computer memory.

The owner of the copy of the dynamic library has such permission
from the GPL:
    You may make, run and propagate covered works that you do not
    convey, without conditions so long as your license otherwise
    remains in force.
The owner of the dynamic library is the one who is running it, by
executing the program which dynamically links to it. In addition
to the memory image being non-infringing by US copyright law, it is
also permitted by the GPL.

You erroneously believe execution of the program results in a GPL

Nonsense.  The preparation and distribution of a total program
> requiring the execution of the library is the GPL violation.

There is no such thing in copyright law as "distribution of a total
program requiring the execution of the library". There is only the
copying and distribution of a work, and the permissions required to
do that are determined by the contents of the work, not by what it
does if it is ever executed. A dynamically linked program does not
contain the libraries which it will invoke if it is ever executed
and therefore permission to copy and execute the program does not
depend on the copyrights of those libraries.

Copying, not linking.  Linking is not just copying.
US copyright law declares as non-infringing any copy or _adaptation_
necessary to use the work. Dynamic linking is adaptation. It is

But it creates a derivative work.  And the licenses of all parts need
> to be satisfied when using that.

It does not create a derivative work, which requires a significant
auctorial transformation of an existing work. It perhaps creates a
collective work. But in any case, US copyright law specifically
declares that such copies created as an essential part of utilizing
the program are non-infringing. Therefore, no permission is needed.
And the resulting work is in any case not conveyed, so the GPL does
not impose any requirements.

You really must face the fact that copyright law does not prohibit
what you would like it to prohibit, and therefore the GPL cannot
constrain programs which dynamically link to GPLed code.

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