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Re: Combining proprietary code and GPL for in-house use

John Galt <galt@inconnu.isu.edu> writes:

> One might, and one might be right.  Remember, the US legal system is
> based in the Social Contract theory, where the Government is given powers
> by the people, not vice-versa.  This means that if there isn't a law
> specifically granting the Government power, it has none.

That's totally irrelevant.  The question here is about just what the
law in question does in fact prescribe.  Everyone I assume agrees that
the court should enforce the law that actually exists and enjoin the
state from going beyond that.  But we have great disagreement about
just what the legal facts are.

It's also incorrect: in most places in this country, the common law
tradition continues, in which there is a great deal of powers held by
the state which are not the subject of any legislation. 

> Actually, you can.  So long as the final result stays in the possession of
> the person who did the linking, this is not a COPYright issue, but a
> property right issue.  This is the epitome of fair use.  If fair use is
> out, then the whole constitutional basis for copyright is suspect, because
> of the "promote the arts and sciences" clause just before the grant of
> monopoly (ie copyright).

But the point here is that the linking is a part of a complex act, by
many people, which sums to a copyright violation.

In different circumstances, each of those sub-acts might have been
perfectly legal, but in combination, they are not.

For example: it's legal for me to hit the ENTER key on my computer.
There is no law which prohibits it.  But that doesn't mean that in
every circumstance whatsoever I can hit the ENTER key with impunity:
there are many contexts where hitting the ENTER key would be a most
serious crime.

Linking is not necessarily copyright violation, but if combined with
certain other acts, the whole thing, including all its parts, are an
instance of illegal copying.  The total combination would indeed have
to be an act of copying, but it's quite irrelevant whether each and
every piece is.


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