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

Re: PHPNuke license

Scripsit Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net>

> Well, note that a lot of other GPL software (including all GNU text/code
> processing tools I'm familiar with) specifically exempts the output from
> being regarded as a derivative work of the processing tool.  For bison,
> gcc and the like, there may be enough originality in the structuring of
> the output to support a copyright claim.

I don't think that "originality in the structuring of the output" can
support a copyright claim. The structuring of the output is not a
function of the compiler author's *expressive* choice (which is what
copyright protects) but a function of his *functional* choice (which
copyright does not protect).

Bison does need an exemption, because the output of bison happens to
be, *verbatim*, a C source file written by bison's authors, with some
machine-generated constant definitions insterted in place of the
dollar sign. That C source does fall under copyright protection.

I'm not sure what the current status of the exemption for GCC is, but
I think it used to be there because the compiler sometimes injects
into the instruction constant code snippets that were hand-coded by
the compiler authors instead of generated by compile-time selection
of individual instruction. Templates for function entry/exit code
would be one example, as would the helper routines in libgcc1, which
are inserted when one uses gcc to *link* one's program. It is probably
not legally clear whether those code snippets are nontrivial enough to
enjoy copyright protection - but the exemption makes it clear that even
in jurisdictions that consider them so, the GCC authors will claim no
copyright on the compiled code for that reason.

Henning Makholm                    "It's kind of scary. Win a revolution and
                                a bunch of lawyers pop out of the woodwork."

Reply to: