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Re: SUN RPC code is DFSG-free



On Sun, Aug 24, 2003 at 04:13:31PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> Consider, as another example, the following program:
> 
> 	#!/bin/sh
> 	# Capital-AJ version 1.0
> 	# Copyright (c) 2003 Anthony Towns <ajt@debian.org>
> 	# All rights reserved
> 
> 	find /foo -type f | grep 'aj' | while read a; do
> 		x="`echo "$a" | sed 's/aj/AJ/g'`"
> 		mv "$a" "$x"
> 	done
> 
> and the following derivative:
> 
> 	#!/bin/sh
> 	# Capital-AJ version 1.1
> 	# Copyright (c) 2003 Anthony Towns <ajt@debian.org>
> 	# May be freely used/copied/etc under the terms of the GNU GPL v2.
> 
> 	export LANG=C
> 
> 	word="$1"
> 	if [ "$word" = "" ]; then
> 		word="aj"
> 	fi
> 	worduc="`echo "$word" | tr a-z A-Z`"
> 
> 	find /foo -type f | grep "$word" | while read a; do
> 		x="`echo "$a" | sed "s/$word/$worduc/g"`"
> 		mv "$a" "$x"
> 	done
> 
> Version 1.1 and third party derivatives are clearly under the GPL, but
> that doesn't mean you can use it to make a copy of version 1.0 that's
> under the GPL, any more than you can start with a blank page and convert
> that to a copy of version 1.0 without violating copyright.

Actually, under some circumstances, you can.  If the "expression" in 1.0
is such that it could reasonably be independently derived from 1.1, then
this is evidence that there was little (if any) originality in 1.0.

There is a big difference between a "blank page" and "Capital-AJ version
1.1".

I freely admit that this analysis is grounded on U.S.-centric notions of
reverse engineering and "originality" as a relevant concept to
copyright.  In other jurisdictions, copyrights more closely resemble
patents, and independent innovation is no defense to a claim of
copyright infringement.

Anyway, I find your illustration unhelpful and unsupportive of your
thesis.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      Please do not look directly into
branden@debian.org                 |      laser with remaining eye.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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