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Re: GPL and command-line libraries



On Mon, Dec 06, 2004 at 02:37:08AM -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> Compare, for example, a painting.  If I make a painting with a 5' by
> 3' hole in it, that is not derivative of Starry Night.
> 
> Even if I paint in complementary art such that if you put SN in there,
> it looks nice, that's probably not derivative.  But if I bolt the two
> paintings together, and ship copies of the whole thing, then
> 
> a) I'm shipping Starry Night, so its copyright holder gets a say.
> b) the bolts aren't a creative work
> c) This clearly isn't "mere aggregation"
> 
> So whether or not it's a derivative work, in the sense of any nation's
> copyright laws, doesn't really matter.

You don't actually need (c). I doubt any lawyer would bother to pursue
the 'derivative work' angle when they had the 'contains my stuff' one
available.


This does appear intuitively to be the correct answer for the case
where two otherwise non-derivative works are combined into a single
binary. They don't magically become derivatives, invoking that clause
of the GPL, but you still have to follow its rules for binary
distribution.

Pathological case: link in a library you don't use.

On the other hand, I can't think of a scenario where this could
possibly matter.

-- 
  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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