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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

> Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> writes:
> >> > Given that the GPL applies only when a notice is contained in the
> >> > work,
> >> 
> >> That is not true.  For example, I have next to me a watercolor
> >> painting licensed under the GPL.  The work itself does not contain a
> >> notice; rather, there is a tag next to it which gives its title,
> >> copyright information, and the fact that it is licenses to all those
> >> who receive a copy -- though not all viewers -- under the terms of the
> >> GNU GPL, version 2.
> >
> > If the work doesn't contain a notice, the GPL doesn't say that it applies.

On Tue, May 11, 2004 at 08:29:06PM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> The referent of "it" is unclear to me.

In that sentence, "it" refers to the GPL.

> I think you're saying that if the work does not contain a notice about
> the GPL, the work is not licensed to me under the GPL.

No.  I said that the GPL doesn't say that it applies.

If the GPL applies it's because of some mechanism outside the GPL.

> This is malarky.  While it is true that
> a prominent notice in the work is often a good way to publish
> availability under a public license, it is not necessary.

Nor does it mean that we're talking about usual or typical cases.

> It is perfectly reasonable for me to give you a work and a separate
> license notice.

That doesn't mean it's ok to remove GPL notices when they are present.

> > Of course for copyright purposes it might be reasonable to say that the
> > painting and the notice together are contained in the work.
> The notice is eight words long and involved no creativity.  It is a
> plain statement of fact.

And it's probably worth noting that content this short may be used fairly
liberally under U.S. "Fair Use" law.

> I do not consider it part of the work.

That's silly.

> If it is considered a copyrightable work, I insist that it is my
> property and you may neither copy nor permute it -- but you may state
> the same facts in a different way.

Huh?  There is no need for the notice to be a copyrighted work for it to
be a part of a copyrighted work.  You might as well claim that letters
aren't copyrighted works and therefore cannot compose copyrighted works.

> >> Similarly, I could hand you a book and tell you that I license to you
> >> all my rights in that book under the terms of the GPL, and the GPL
> >> would apply.
> >
> > And if you lied?
> >
> > Or changed your mind?
> >
> > Or if I lied?
> >
> > How could a judge know that I wasn't lying when I tell him you said it
> > was a GPLed work?
> The same way he would know you weren't lying when you produced a text
> file and said it was from me.  The resolution protocol is outside the
> scope of the license.

In some cases this would work -- that doesn't make this the typical case,
nor does it make this case good practice.

> >> You are incorrect due to overgeneralization.  You must leave a notice
> >> iff there was a notice.  But, for a start, that is only a mark on the
> >> source code.  It need not impact the compiled program at all.  That
> >> is, it must be visible to one inspecting the program, but not to one
> >> using the program.  You must also leave the notice on an interactive
> >> program intact, but that is also a much weaker limitation -- it does
> >> not apply to noninteractive programs, for example.
> >
> > Are you trying to argue that a GPLed binary is a work independent from
> > the sources it's built from?
> Of course not.  The compiled binary is a derivative work of the
> sources.  But look at normal noninteractive gpl'd code -- the marks
> and notices that the work is under the GPL are in source code
> comments, or in a text file adjacent to the binary.

Nevertheless, you are required to distribute the sources with the binaries
or at least make them available to people who receive the binaries.

And those sources include the required notices.

Further, where there are notices which carry through to the binary,
you're not allowed to remove those, either.


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