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

Re: GPL and command-line libraries

Alessandro Rubini wrote:

Actually, I've never heard the FSF claim that the _source_code_ of a
program using a (black-box) library is derived from the library. What
it claims is that the executable is derived from both,

Maybe there is some confusion here between "derived" in everyday language and "derivative work" in copyright law?

It is, I think, as certain as any law can be that copyright (at least in the US) requires an original work of authorship, which requires an author and a creative input. I think it is fairly certain worldwide that a derivative work requires the same.

A compiler can only perform a transformation from source to object form programmed into it by its creators; it is neither an author nor capable of creativity; it can this not produce an original work of authorship or thus a derivative work.

If A is derivative work of B, then the compiled form A' is probably too.
If A is not a derivative work of B, then A' is not either.

I'd be surprised to see the FSF argue something other than the above. Then again, http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DevelopChangesUnderNDA seems to.

and the authors
of either part have their say in choosing distribution terms.

That is quite true. After all, you can require any condition (within the law) you want to even allow people to copy the software; however, such conditions may (of course) not be free.

Reply to: