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Re: If not GFDL, then what?

Anthony DeRobertis <asd@suespammers.org> writes:

> On Mon, 2003-10-13 at 22:01, Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
>> Let's say Alice's installer uses secret-sharing or error-correcting
>> codes to meld the program and the documentation, then produce separate
>> works from them.
> Like tar czf?

Not quite what I had in mind: I was considering something clearly a
program and using, not merely aggregating, the two works: something
which would invoke the FSF's ridiculous assertion that dynamic linking
is modification.

>> Let's say Alice distributes them as an InstallShield(tm) program, or
>> as a shar-style archive: an installer program which installs the
>> documentation and the useful program.  Certainly nobody can make such
>> an installer -- which is a derived work -- except Alice.
> "which is a derived work" is quite questionable. It'd probably be a
> "mere aggregation" --- certainly just as much as a ext3 filesystem.

So given that, no, I don't mean anything like a tar file or a
filesystem: I mean something more like a closure which returns other works.

> How are tar and shar different, legally? None, I'd bet.
> I don't think taking an archive file, and including an unarchiver
> (InstallShield) is any different, either.

This is why I was careful not to describe it as an archive file and an
unarchiver: it is a program which produces output; that output is a
copy of a copyrighted work.  There isn't a clear data section; rather,
the useful program (which Alice originally wrote and Bob modified) and
its documentation are organic parts of it.  Perhaps it links against
Alice's program and the documentation.


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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