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Re: Bug#570621: Parsing output = derivative work?

2011/3/8 Mahyuddin Susanto <udienz@ubuntu.com>:
>> Parsing the output of a program doesn’t make a derivative work. However,
>> if this parsing is vital for the operation of the application and makes
>> it useless without that program, what is the difference with dynamic
>> linking to a library? To a programmer, there might be one, but to a
>> court, there wouldn’t be any.
> Thanks for CCing to debian-legal
> anyway, i'm really confused for this packages, but i'm open for input
> for a best solutions

In general, I wouldn't consider parsing the output of another program
to de a derivative work. According to the GPL FAQ [1]:

"Where's the line between two separate programs, and one program with
two parts? This is a legal question, which ultimately judges will
decide. We believe that a proper criterion depends both on the
mechanism of communication (exec, pipes, rpc, function calls within a
shared address space, etc.) and the semantics of the communication
(what kinds of information are interchanged).

If the modules are included in the same executable file, they are
definitely combined in one program. If modules are designed to run
linked together in a shared address space, that almost surely means
combining them into one program.

By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are
communication mechanisms normally used between two separate programs.
So when they are used for communication, the modules normally are
separate programs. But if the semantics of the communication are
intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data structures, that too
could be a basis to consider the two parts as combined into a larger
program. "

[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation


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