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Re: xcdroast does no longer work with wodim: Who to blame?

On Tue, 3 Mar 2009, Joerg Schilling wrote:

Bill Unruh <unruh@physics.ubc.ca> wrote:

There is absolutely no problem with distributing mkisofs binaries that are
linked against CDDLd libs that are a "different work".

Well, no, there is a problem. Whether that problem is due to a misreading of
the law, differing laws (Under US, the concept of derivative work is a very
important and strong concept. Publishers have been successfully sued for using less than
.3% of another work in their work. It is a vague and broad concept, and at
present in a situation like this all we have are legal theories, since courts
have not ruled. Note that part of the SCO suit against IBM is precisely based
on this concept of derivative work, and a broad interpretation thereof. Maybe
that case will clarify the situation, but I doubt it.

The US courts seem to have strange ideas about the Copyright... I know of a case
where a US Lawyer did steal one of the major font collections of the world and
modified only 5% of the mesh-points from be Bezier splines that define the fonts.
For almost all people, the resulting fonts look identical to the original fonts.
A US judge did see no Copyright violation in this case.

Yes, what is copyrightable and what not is a complete minefield. And the
concept of derivative work is even more of one. Unfortunately one has to live and work within the confines of the legal system
we actually have, not the one that might make sense.

From your comments, it appears that German copyright law does not contain that
concept. Unfortunately all Linux distributions are world wide and have to
worry about the law in many jurisdictions, especially the USA.

There are some basic concepts in the Berne convention that apply to all
countries that singed the Berne contract.

Unfortunately concepts like derivative work apparently are not part of the
convention and anyway, each country interprets the convention as they please.
It is a convention, it is not law.

Anyway, since the people in the Linux distributions clearly are worried about
the legal situation for whatever reason, and since the dual licensing of
libscg or the parts of libscg actually used by mkisofs would make them happy,
and since the benefit to users of having your software available on the
distributions would be great, I would ask you consider doing something like

I know that my theory applies to the European Copyright law and Eben Moglen did
confirm that the relevent parts also apply to the US law system. Isn't this

The answer would appear to be "no", it is not sufficient. Thus, for the sake
of the users, not for the sake of the Debian people, but of the users, it
would be really great if the that licensing issue with libscg and mkisofs
could be brought to a place where it would satisfy the major theories of
copyright law in dispute. That could either be through cross licensing or even
extracting those parts of libscg which are actually used by mkisofs ( and it
seems to be very little), including them in the source for mkisofs and making
them GPL or LGPL. I realise that this is both a pain and an impostion, and it
makes things messier with respect to the code. On the other hand, the current
situation makes things much messier with respect to the users.


William G. Unruh   |  Canadian Institute for|     Tel: +1(604)822-3273
Physics&Astronomy  |     Advanced Research  |     Fax: +1(604)822-5324
UBC, Vancouver,BC  |   Program in Cosmology |     unruh@physics.ubc.ca
Canada V6T 1Z1     |      and Gravity       |  www.theory.physics.ubc.ca/

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