Re: GPL & Possible Derivative Work
On Saturday 18 June 2005 07:18 pm, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 18, 2005 at 06:11:45PM -0700, Sean Kellogg wrote:
> > Shocking as it may sound, I agree with everything Michael has said here.
> > Cleanroom implementation is not a good defense against copyright
> > infringement. If you want to write code and release it under a license
> > under the GPL, then don't look at the GPL'ed code. Otherwise you are
> > copying something... and while its possible that that "something" isn't
> > itself copyrightable material, chances are good that it is AND it really
> > goes against the whole "meaning and intent" of the GPL.
> This seems to boil down to "once you've looked at GPL code that does
> something, you're forever banned from writing anything similar to it
> under another license". I hope I'm not the only one that finds that
> questionable. And no, it doesn't go against the intent of the GPL;
> the GPL is intended to lock a piece of software into itself, not whole
> I've seen a whole lot of GPL'd code. It's awfully hard to make money
> writing GPL'd code. Should I be looking for a new career?
Look at all the GPL'ed code you want... but if you intend to look at code,
attempt to cleanroom the code YOURSELF, and then re-implement it, as the
original poster suggested, then I think you've got a problem.
But it raises a unique problem from a legal test perspective. Non-literal
infringement generally requires two things A) similarity, B) access. In the
case of proprietary code, B is often missing... but how does the test work
in a FOSS setting where everyone has access? Is the only legal issue
similarity, or does the public availability alter the analysis?
2nd Year - University of Washington School of Law
GPSS Senator - Student Bar Association
Editor-at-Large - National ACS Blog [http://www.acsblog.org]
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So, let go
...Oh well, what you waiting for?
...it's all right
...'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown