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Re: GPL: meaning of "independent and separate works"

GPL section 2, emphasis mine:

     These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
     identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the
     Program, and can be reasonably considered INDEPEDENT and SEPARATE
     works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply
     to those sections when you distribute them as separate works.

> Brian Kimball <bfk@footbag.org> writes:

> > Does US copyright law provide special legal definitions of
> > 'independent' and 'separate' or are these used in the technical
> > sense of the words?

Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:

> The GPL already tells you.  It's appealing to the "reasonable man"
> test.

So even if a work distributed with the modified Program is not a
derivative work of the Program, it must be GPLed if the work DEPENDs on
the Program to run (a situation I tried but failed to create in my
example)?  I'm a reasonable guy and that's how I read it. :-)

It's my impression that people don't think the GPL is that viral (unless
you're Brett Glass :-), and that it really only requires derivative
works to be GPLed.  That's why I was wondering if the GPL was using
special legal definitions of 'independent' and 'separate'.

Or perhaps distributing this hypothetical work with the Program doesn't
place it in the "whole" that the requirements apply to, since the work
isn't derived from the Program.  That seems to make a lot more sense.

Egads, I'm lost.

Brian Kimball

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