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Re: apache non-free?

On Fri, Dec 07, 2001 at 07:47:33AM -0500, Ben Collins wrote:
> If I take apache, add an extra line to it, compile it and call it
> apache, and some legal entity calls it derivation, I'll be shitting
> bricks.

As someone else points out, derived work is generally an inclusive
term. The derived works of the Apache Web Server include the Apache
Web Server, as distributed by the Apache group, and any work derived
from that.

Splitting it into an exclusive term (derived work which is *not*
verbatim the official version) is the cause of such hairsplitting
idiocy as the example you rightly call absurd.

> At best it is a modified version of the original. In this case, I did
> not derive a new version of the original, I merely changed the
> original.

'Modified version of the original...'.  Would you accept that it is a
'Modified copy of the original..' (insofar as the processes involved
inevitably involve copying?)

If so, then it is indubitably a derived work.  A derived work is
precisely a complete or partial copy of original, possibly modified in 
some way.

> Now I might be living in some dream world with rose colored glasses, but
> I'm going to stick to my guns and say that what we are doing is not a
> derivation. Else, upgrading autoconf and rebuilding apache would be
> considered the same. Hell, if some lawyer starts going down that road
> then using different compilers and headers derives a different binary.
> Compiling it _static_ would get you tossed in jail!

These points are very confusing due to the fact that the entity which
is actually protected is the source code.  The binary code is only
protected by copyright by extension (I don't know the details).  I
think you could sensibly say that any binary which is produced from
the source by permuting ./configure options and compiler options is
still covered by that.

> I'm going to leave this alone though, since I can see this ending up
> being a difference of my sane, well thought opinion, and a screwy
> infested legal system that gives words more definitions than Webster
> did.

I'm afraid that sane, well-thought-out opinions do not naturally lead
to a system as byzantine and inequitable as copyright law (be it US,
EU or elsewhere).  But that is just my opinion...


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