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Re: web hosting providers' modified .debs

On Jan 25, 2008 9:07 AM, Arnoud Engelfriet <arnoud@engelfriet.net> wrote:
> My first question would be whether those files would contain sufficient
> creative expression to qualify for copyright protection. If they don't
> (and I am not sure something like /etc/make.conf is 'creative'), then
> GPLv3 cannot apply to those files.

Not all jurisdictions require "creative expression" for copyright
protection. The UK, for example, only requires a work to be "original"
- i.e. not copied. So I think we have to assume that at least *some*
of those files are going to be protected. And most of the material
under /usr/share or /usr/doc will certainly be protected by copyright.

> The next question would be how you determine from a file in /etc
> what the "Program" is as GPLv3 defines it. You could argue that
> /etc/make.conf is a separate work (if creative) that is part of
> a collective work called 'make'.

Yes - part of the problem is that the GPL does not clearly define what
"the work" means.

> Since I'm entitled to remove parts from a GPLv3 work and convey
> only the remaining parts, I don't see anything unlawful about offering
> execute-only access to a binary and read access to the manpage and/or
> configuration files.

Good point. I agree.



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