[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: GPL and command-line libraries

On Wed, Nov 03, 2004 at 12:18:32AM +0100, Måns Rullgård wrote:
> > Or else, his is a derivative work of whichever one he makes use of.
> > If he ships with one of them, his intention seems to be clear.
> >
> > I don't see how that is logically inconsistent.
> It's all about causality.  Consider two scenarios, both involving
> three programs, A, B and C.
> Scenario 1:
> Scenario 2:

I understood your argument before.

What I mean to say is, if he ships with one of them and performed his
development and testing with the same one, that would seem to at least
indicate his intentions.

It's about which of the two implementations he picks to combine his released
work with. I propose that if he shipped his work combined with mine, and
required it to operate, that release would be derivative work---not a mere
aggregation. Therefore, he would be violating the GPL and thus my copyright.

If he shipped his client without combining it with a particular
implementation and left it up to the user to perform this, I have no 
opinion if this is permitted or not. It probably is.

This is because: the user can obtain a copy of my library and can do
whatever he likes with it as long as he doesn't distribute it. Therefore,
he can also combine it with Mr. Wontshare's client.

> In both cases, we have in the end an identical set of programs, and the
> derivedness relations between them must also be equal.

I am not a lawyer, but I think law depends on more than just the bit values
of the software. The difference between first and second degree murder is
one of intention. Though that's a bit dramatic, I think the same sort of
thing applies here.

Wesley W. Terpstra <wesley@terpstra.ca>

Reply to: