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Re: Corel's apt frontend

> > Hmmm. I also suspect that the performance of a play would constitute
> > a derived work

On Sat, Oct 30, 1999 at 11:27:50PM -0700, Bruce Perens wrote:
> You can also "perform" a computer program, it's generally called _use_.
> The program's output may be derivative.

It's not the output that's the issue here, but the interaction between
the two pieces of the program.

I think the real problem in this discussion is that the word "program"
means different things to different people.  But the GPL is very careful
about how it defines "program".

In understanding this distinction, it's probably worth noting that,
as linux programmers, we're working in an environment where "program"
has a specific, technical meaning -- at the moment, we tend to think of a
program as a specific executable file.  However, the GPL was written by
(or for) a lisp programmer and from that point of view the mechanical
issues of storage and parameter passing were never all that important.
In the lisp environment there's all sorts of things which could reasonably
be called programs...

> Given that the GPL has language that is extremely un-restrictive
> regarding use, I doubt it could be applied to restricting front-ends
> that run across the exec() interface.

Once again, this isn't an issue of use, it's an issue of definition.
The combination of dpkg plus the front end is an example of what the
GPL defines as a program.

> Copyright law allows you to control "public performance" of your work,
> I think this is a separate concept from "use". You could use this
> control, for example, to control use of your program on a web server,
> where the output of the program is presented to clients.

In all the examples I can think up with that's a different issue.


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