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Re: Linux and GPLv2

Glenn Maynard wrote:

On Tue, Mar 29, 2005 at 08:53:52PM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
On Mon, Mar 28, 2005 at 11:25:39AM -0300, Humberto Massa wrote:
My claim was: "*Basically*, bits in .h files are not
copyrightable". Which I now solemnly amend to "The kind of bits you
normally (>99% of the times) find in .h files in c-language based
projects, and often (>50% of the times) find in .h files in c++ based
projects, are those defining interfaces, deeming them uncopyrightable
by current USofAn and Brazilian law". Better?
Raul Miller wrote:
However, for U.S. law, this isn't necessarily the case.
On Mon, Mar 28, 2005 at 04:14:47PM -0300, Humberto Massa wrote:
I was referring to the fact that there is some case law in the USofA that deemed interface definitions, as present normally in .h files, uncopyrightable.

Those .h files were held to be not protected by copyright because no
viable alternatives were available to interface with the system.

I'd question whether that'd apply to a *free* system, anyway.  I havn't
looked at these cases (since I don't know which they are), but I recall
a case that sounds just like it: an author of a work created (under
contract) for a movie claimed that no license to actually use that material
was granted, but as the paid-for work was useless without a license to use
it, a license was implied.  That doesn't seem relevant where the work
is being given out entirely for free; the creator has no obligation to
anyone else to grant a license to make the library's release useful.
(For a commercial SDK, this would seem to apply to header files.)
If memory serves the two landmark US interface cases were 1) Lotus where a third party had written a commercial macro package that used 1-2-3's Macro interface, and 2) Lexmark or HP where a third party had written software that integrated with their printer control system. Alas, I am a long way from my files so all or some of the above may be correct.


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