[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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



This is not legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is established. etc
etc.

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Galt" <galt@inconnu.isu.edu>
To: "Thomas Bushnell, BSG" <tb@becket.net>
Cc: "Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS" <edmundo@rano.org>;
<debian-legal@lists.debian.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2001 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: Combining proprietary code and GPL for in-house use


> On 27 Jun 2001, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
>
> >Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS <edmundo@rano.org> writes:
> >

[snip]

>
> >In the instant case, compiling and linking is not specifically
> >prohibited by the copyright statute, but that doesn't mean that you
> >can ignore the fact that they are going on.  They might well be part
> >of a larger more complicated activity, which *is* an act of illegal
> >copying.
>
> 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).
>

Just to clear up a possible misconception. The U.S. Copyright Act provides
that copying and creating derivative works are the exclusive rights of the
author. The most significant exceptions to those doctrines are "fair use"
and specific exemptions provided by the Copyright Act. So any act of copying
or creating a derivative work without the permission of the author is an
infringement unless an exception applies. Compiling and linking involves one
or both of making a copy and creating a derivative work and so is
infringement absent permission or an exception. In this analysis it is
irrelevant that the final result stays in the possession of the person who
did the copying and/or creating a derivative work. Now of course that the
final result stays in the possession of the user may be relevant to the
exceptions such as section 117 and fair use. Now these principles apply in
many, if not most, other countries in the world although exceptions there
are typically much narrower than the U.S. Also there is always de minimis
non curat lex - something the law considers too trifling.

> >Thomas
> >



Reply to: