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Re: How long is it acceptable to leave *undistributable* files in the kernel package?

On Thu, 17 Jun 2004 09:37:09 -0400 mdpoole@troilus.org wrote:

> > I suspect that few people think a GPL'd installer of Microsoft Word
> > would be compliant with the GPL.  That's a reasonable analogy,
> > right? A hardcoded string, copied to some device which runs it, and
> > maybe with some additional setup.
> The installer can be GPLed, sure.  Why shouldn't it be?  You will
> likely run into other copyright issues because you do not have
> permission to redistribute Microsoft Word like that, but it is
> irrelevant to the GPLness of the installer.

Well, if MS Word is installed by unpacking a separate package, then it's
merely data from the installer point of view. In this case, yes, the
installer can be GPL'd.
Just as dpkg(8) which is GPL'd, but, of course, using it to install a
non-free deb package is not a dpkg copyright violation.

It seems to me that the conclusion would be different if MS Word binary
files were hardcoded as strings defined in the installer source code.
In that case I would say the GPL'd installer is a derivative work of MS
Word and thus undistributable.
Anyway, I see that there are some people who claim that hardcoding a
work as a string included in the source code of a program creates
aggregation/anthology rather than a derivative work... So I expect that
those people disagree with me on this latter case...

             |  GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4 | You're compiling a program
  Francesco  |        Key fingerprint = | and, all of a sudden, boom!
     Poli    | C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12 |         -- from APT HOWTO,
             | 31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4 |             version 1.8.0

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