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

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.

On Wed, Jan 12, 2005 at 02:13:58PM -0800, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> 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
> infringement.

I'll agree that linking doesn't >>create<< a derivative work.

Creation of derivative works is something software developers do, and
that's going to involve a lot of editting work.  Of course, software
development might involve linking as well, but that's just a detail.

However the fact that some program runs properly when linked, and
doesn't run when not linked, does constitute evidence that the program
was designed be linked.

The contributory infringement can come in if you have thousands of copies
of some program which were not created within the terms of the copyright
somehow running on end-user machines.  Again, linking (if any happens)
is just a detail.

What matters, from a copyright point of view is stuff like

[*] who made the copy(s)?  The copyright holder can cause copies to be
made, and that's fine regardless of the license or absence of license
(this is why web sites and email are legal even without explicit license)

[*] were the copies made according to the terms of some explcit license?
Having a license proves that you were acting on behalf of the copyright

[*] who is the copyright holder?  Generally, we try and include copyright
notices so that the answer to this question is clear.  [Sometimes, we
get stuff with inadequate notices, and when we notice that we try and
make it right.]

Once again: linking is a detail.  It's not something which copyright
law makes any special allowances for.  Depending on the circumstances
linking might be analogous to typesetting, or book binding, or sticking
phrases together, or any of a variety of other actions.

But if a program won't run properly until after it's linked, it's pretty
clear that linking is a part of the process for publishing that program.


Reply to: