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Re: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe

Walter Landry writes:

> Debian adds in all of the debian-specific control files, including man
> pages.  Even if you discount that, Debian reserves the right to modify
> Kaffe at will.

Debian-created man pages, or any other modifications of Kaffe, could
somehow make Eclipse a derivative work of Kaffe?  How?

> > > Maybe it would help to think of this as question of what's "inside"
> > > and what's "outside" the modified program.
> > > 
> > > Things that are inside (libraries, modules, headers, etc.) need to be
> > > GPL compatible.  This is where the OS exception comes in.
> > 
> > This a debian-legal FAQ.  Debian is the OS, and cannot avail itself of
> > the OS exception.
> > 
> > > Things that are outside (independently created programs and data --
> > > things that aren't needed to make the modified GPLed work be complete)
> > > do not need to be GPL compatible.  This is where the clauses about
> > > running the program and about mere aggregation come in.
> > 
> > To summarize you argument: Debian includes both GPL-incompatible work
> > X and GPLed work Y.  Work X can be run on top of other programs than
> > work Y, but Debian does not distribute those alternatives.  Work X
> > itself (in either source or binary form) is not a derivative of work
> > Y, but within Debian, work X can only be run on top of work Y, and we
> > ship both of them.  Because of that, this is beyond mere aggregation,
> > and work Y must be made GPL-compatible or moved to contrib.  Correct?
> Correct.
> > If so, what is the difference is between Y=Kaffe and Y=Linux?  Linux
> > exempts syscall-using clients from being directly covered by the GPL,
> That is the difference.  Linux has an exemption and Kaffe does not.
> > but Kaffe has no direct copyright claim on pure java applications.
> > It is again a question of how to define "mere aggregation" in the
> > collective work known as Debian.

The Linux syscall exemption is a red herring.  It releases
applications -- not collective works containing both.  Eclipse is,
similarly, not a derivative of Kaffe and by itself is not subject to
the GPL.

But in both cases, there is a collective work that is (according to
your argument) based on the GPLed work, and that work is not licensed
according to the GPL.  If the collective work "Eclipse+Kaffe" is
subject to the GPL, the collective work "Debian+Linux" must also be.

Michael Poole

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