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Re: Big blow to proprietary linking nonsense.

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Big blow to proprietary linking nonsense.
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:55:42 -0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

RJack <> writes:

> 7 wrote:
>> RJack the stupid 1 wrote:
>>> The following decision probably settles most questions touching
>>> upon copyright law and dynamically linking to open source code and
>>> vice versa. Simply placing a hook in GPL source code to call
>>> independent proprietary drivers or libraries is fully protected by
>>> 17 USC sec. 117. Simply dynamically calling GPL code doesn't
>>> involve copyright questions at all.
>> Nope.
>> 'Simply placing a hook' is no different to saying embedding
>> irrespective of how that embedding was achieved.
>> Once proprietary code is embedded into GPL'd code the whole product
>> now has two incompatible licenses. And you may be violating both
>> licenses.
>> As for the embedded GPL, you can use it for your own private use
>> under the terms of the GPL. But you can't distribute it if it
>> violates the GPL. You can distribute after you remove the GPL'd code
>> and/or substitute it with your own code, or remove the embedded
>> proprietary code, or re-license the proprietary code with one that is
>> compatible with the GPL license.
> Placing (embedding) a "jmp" or "call" instruction to code residing in a
> seperate place in memory is trivial requiring only a few bytes and does
> not change the creative aspects of a program since it is a purely
> functional and utilitarian addition. Purely functional aspects of
> a computer program are not protected by copyright due to the dichotomy
> of expression and function.

You are confused.  Modification even in uncreative ways is not a right
granted by copyright.

But that is not really relevant for the embedding question.  Relevant
for the embedding question is whether the resulting application is an
aggregation, or a new work with new aspects.  If it is the latter (and
the choice of the word "embedding" strongly suggests that this is what a
judge would consider), then the GPL allows distribution of the changed
work only if the resulting work as a whole is distributed under the GPL.

As always: your legal fantasies loosely based on some phrases you want
to mean something different are not relevant.  Let's see a judge apply
them to GPLed works before you wet yourself over them.

David Kastrup

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