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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

I wrote:
> The contributory / direct infringement difference is kind of
> interesting from a tactical point of view ...
followed by some discussion about the Micro Star opinion that was more
inarticulate than usual.

The point I was trying to make, in sentences of 25 words or less:  The
important part of the Micro Star opinion is the exposition of why MAP
files are morally equivalent to unauthorized sequels to Duke Nukem. 
The text of the opinion is complicated by the need to distinguish it
on the facts from Galoob.  The author in Galoob, in turn, felt the
need to distinguish it on the facts from the Seventh Circuit's
decision in Midway v. Artic.  The result is a thicket of ill-conceived
case law harping on technical criteria for whether or not a
"derivative work" has been created.

IMHO, "was a derivative work created?" is the wrong question.  The
right question is, "has the alleged infringer used the original's
creative expression in a way that Congress intended to reserve to the
copyright holder?"  Piecewise "recycling" of existing works, whether
by the original author or by enterprising aftermarket tweakers, is
becoming more and more common.  So perhaps courts should ask, "does
this boost usability of the existing work without really interfering
with the potential for sequels?  Or does it just rip the original off
as a substitute for going to the trouble of writing new stuff?"

>From this perspective, a speeded-up Galaxian (Midway) is kind of
borderline, like a double-time punk cover of a 60's chestnut.  Helping
Nintendo players cheat (Galoob) has no real effect on the "creative
expression", but publishing new game levels (Micro Star) does. 
Artificial criteria about whether an altered display is sufficiently
"fixed", or whether the alleged infringement is direct or
contributory, just get in the way.

Maybe that's an outline of another law journal article.  :-)

- Michael

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