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Re: GPL and linking

Raul Miller wrote:

>On 5/6/05, Humberto Massa <humberto.massa@almg.gov.br> wrote:
>>??? Let's try again: '' The GPL tries to define "work based on the
>>Program" in terms of "derivative work under copyright law", and
>>then, after this definition and a colon, it tries to explain what
>>is a "derivative work under copyright law", but gives a wrong
>>explanation, which would remain wrong even if only USC 17 was
>>considered as a global copyright law. ''
>>See? The GPL says, in its section 0, caput, with [] braces mine:
>Except what you're calling a paraphrase of the "derivative work"
>concept is a restatement of the "work based on the Program"

You can't re-state something saying a different thing. GPL#0 says
that "a work based on the Program" is "a derivative work under
copyright law", and then says "that is to say, a work
containing...", which is NOT a re-statement of a "derivative work
under copyright law".

It would be a re-statement if it said:

'' a "work based on the Program" is a derivative work under
copyright law, that is to say, in most jurisdictions, any
intellectually-novel work that results from a transformation made on
the Program, like a translation to another language etc. etc. etc.

THIS is a re-statement. I say one thing, then I say the SAME thing
with other words.

>Then again, other things you say, such as 'The GPL tries to define'
>shows that you're not really interested in talking about what the
>GPL is or what it's saying.  The GPL does define "work based on the
>Program".  There is no element of "try" here.  The GPL -- not your
>email -- is the authoritative document about what the GPL does and
>does not define.

Yes and no. The GPL is the authoritative document on whatever it
wants to define and whatever it CAN define (the GPL CANNOT define
what is "a derivative work under copyright law", for instance)...
but IF AND ONLY IF it defines it without ambiguity.

What the GPL actually does is defining a cat this way: '' a cat is
the animal on the page 3 of the Domestic Pets Handbook, that is to
say, an animal with four legs and whiskers. ''. Does this defines
all animals with four legs and whiskers as being cats?

This is not a definition, because of the ambiguity of the terms.
When you study the GPL deeply, and start digging on hermeneutics
books, you'll see that the "that is to say" part is only an
explanation or example, and NOT part of an authoritative definition.
Especially *because* any ambiguity is construed against the offerer,
the only possible *legal* reading of the GPL is that "a work based
on the Program" is exactly defined as "a derivative work under (your
local) copyright law".

Finally, I want to say that I am NOT against the GPL. Only I
disagree with its interpretation given in the FSF GPL FAQ and I
think that, in the courtroom, (I am pretty sure as far as Brazilian
courts are involved, really) considering any collective works as
"works based on the Program" would NOT stick.


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