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Re: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe

On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 14:37:28 -0500, Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:
> It's laws and precedents -- particularly those grouped under the principle
> which is termed "contributory infringement" which makes it true.

What laws and precedents?  All the law and precedent that I can find
suggests that linking doesn't create a derivative work.  "Contributory
infringement" might apply to distributing a patch (and thereby
inciting others to create derivative works), but if linking isn't
infringement, then encouraging others to link isn't contributory

> > Put aside the FSF's entrenched position for a moment.  Consider a
> > magazine article which contains newly coined words that are defined in
> > a sidebar written by a separate author.
> I believe the relevant aspects of this issue are adequately addressed
> in the GPL under the heading "mere aggregation".

Did you read the rest of the analogy?  My whole point is that linking
is "mere aggregation" in copyright terms, and that the FSF's position
statement, outside of the text of the GPL, doesn't have legal force. 
I'm not advocating that people willfully link incompatibly licensed
code against GPL works whose copyright is held by the FSF, although I
think it would be legally defensible to do so.  But I do think that
the FSF's position can't stop another entity that distributes under
the GPL from preferring the linking-is-OK interpretation.

> > Needless to say, most people in the free software world take the FSF's
> > claims at face value -- hey, their General Counsel is a law professor
> > at Columbia!
> Ad hominem, and irrelevant.

Are you willfully misinterpreting what I wrote?  I'm describing the
reality on the ground, which is that Eben Moglen is a respected law
professor at Columbia, a long-time contributor of time and treasure to
ideals which I mostly share, and a generally decent guy whose opinion
most Free Software contributors would accept without demanding an
explicit grounding in legal precedent.  An "ad hominem" argument would
be to belittle him personally in lieu of refuting his reasoning -- and
I really don't think I'm guilty of this, however other people may be

- Michael

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