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Re: inclusion of header files lead to derived works

On Tue, 23 Mar 1999, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> Perhaps we should define the scope we talk about. I base my assumptions on a
> GPL'ed work. The GPL says:

> For an executable work, complete source
> code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
> associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
> control compilation and installation of the executable.

> This is my understanding of source code,

Oh, but that is a completely different question. GPL defines here the
type of data you are not allowed to keep secret if you distribute
binaries under the terms of the GPL.

The intention here is not to regulate who has rights pertaining to the
executable but to make sure that the "source" really is enough to enable
the receiver of it to modify the source code and build a binary for

That does not have any immediate connections to whether or not the author
of, say, a makefile has any legal right to constrain distribution of the
finished binary. He hasn't.

(Unless he is also author of other parts of the source code that *do* get
included in the binary, of course).

Henning Makholm

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