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Re: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 01:57:05 -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen
<bts@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> "Michael K. Edwards" <m.k.edwards@gmail.com> writes:
> > I wrote:
> >> ...  In context, this applies only to derivative works and
> >> (copyrightable) collections (the GPL says "collective works", but this
> >> is obviously a thinko) under copyright law.  ...
> >
> > My error -- "collective works" is treated as a synonym for
> > (copyrightable) collections in the US version of copyright law (17 USC
> > 201).
> I'm not sure what you mean to be inferred from this correction.  

Simply that I made an error in my parenthesis; "collective works"
isn't a "thinko", it's a term that's in the US implementation of the
Berne Convention but not in the Berne Convention itself.

> Do
> you think that the Debian OS is not covered by the description of GPL
> 2b:
> "any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part
> contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof"
> If it is covered, surely Debian is only exempt because of the mere
> aggregation exception.  Kaffe and Eclipse aren't merely aggregated.

The Debian OS is a copyrightable collection; considerable creativity
has gone into its "selection and arrangement"; parts of Section 2 may
apply to it.  But Kaffe and Eclipse are merely aggregated on the CD
and mirrors.  The run-time combination of Kaffe and Eclipse isn't a
copyrightable work.  So neither Debian nor the Debian user is
violating Kaffe's GPL, with or without any special exemptions.

I would suggest that you read Raul Miller's message
<[🔎] 20050116032135.X28146@links.magenta.com> carefully.  Then review the
US case law I have cited that demonstrates (IMO, IANAL) that
implementing against a published API doesn't create a derivative work
because that's functional, not expressive, content, and copyright
doesn't reach "sweat of the brow".

So even if Kaffe were the only implementation of the API and it took
many person-years to integrate Eclipse to it, neither Eclipse nor
Eclipse+Kaffe would be a derivative work of Kaffe (the former doesn't
infringe at all, and the latter isn't separately copyrightable and
requires only a legitimate use license for Kaffe).  Perhaps the FSF
wishes they had written the GPL to bar such uses; perhaps they claim
that Java bytecode interpretation causes the dreaded act of linking
and is therefore verboten; but they're mistaken.  Doubly so for
Eclipse+Kaffe, where Kaffe is a functional substitute for Sun's JVM.

- Michael

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