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Re: Bug#189164: libdbd-mysql-perl uses GPL lib, may be used by GPL-incompatible apps

Anthony DeRobertis <asd@suespammers.org> writes:
> On Friday, May 23, 2003, at 03:30 PM, Brian T. Sniffen wrote:

>>> Wait.  Isn't dpkg under the GPL?  Now everything on the entire system
>>> has to be under the GPL, because you can't even get it installed
>>> without
>>> the use of dpkg.
>> I don't see how a program which merely happened to be installed using
>> dpkg can be said to be a derivative work of dpkg,
> Well, he is going a little far. But certainly the postinst, preinst,
> postrm, etc. files would have to be, as Debian distributes them in
> such a way to force dpkg to link them (by executing them). That would
> mean that everything used in those scripts has to be GPL-compatible.

I didn't say *all* execution was derivation.  Execution is a form of
use, not covered by copyright.  Creation with a certain target in mind
is derivation, though.

>> All of those --
>> TCP, HTTP, and DEB -- are generic formats.
> .deb isn't. There is, AFAIK, only one implementation.

At the very least, alien and dpkg deal with it; I believe there are

> BTW: If the documentation in the policy manual makes it a standard,
> why doesn't the documentation in the GNU grep manpage, info page,
> etc. make it a standard, too?

They do -- but really, you'd rather be writing a derivative of a GPL
work than a GFDL work.

>> If he,
>> in his creation, is intentionally deriving creative ideas from the
>> author of a previous work, his work is derivative.
> The only thing I'm deriving from in, e.g., grep is, if anything:
> 	1) its command line interface
> 	2) its functionality
> In Lotus Development Corp. v. Borland International, Inc.,[0] the
> court held that a menu structure is method of operation. Methods of
> operation are, by statute, not copyrightable. To quote the decision:
>      We think that "method of operation," as that term is used
>      in 102(b), refers to the means by which a person operates
>      something, whether it be a car, a food processor, or a
>      computer.
>      We hold that the Lotus menu command hierarchy is an
>      uncopyrightable "method  of  operation." The Lotus menu
>      command hierarchy provides the means by which users control
>      and operate Lotus 1-2-3. .... Users must use the command
>      terms to tell the computer what to do.  Without the menu
>      command hierarchy, users would not be able to access and
>      control, or indeed make  use of,  Lotus 1-2-3's functional
>      capabilities.
>      The Lotus  menu command hierarchy  does not  merely explain
>      and present Lotus 1-2-3's functional capabilities to the
>      user; it also serves as the  method by which the program
>      is operated and controlled.


OK.  Well, that settles that argument: if this hasn't been reversed,
you're unambiguously correct.  Thanks for pointing this out!

I wonder how this relates to library interfaces... certainly, those
are methods of operation as well.


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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