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Re: Parsing output = derivative work? (was: RFS: gnetworktester)

On Sun, 6 Mar 2011 12:04:35 +0100 W. Martin Borgert wrote:

> (out of curiosity moved to debian-legal)

(I guess you intended to ask to keep the other recipients in Cc: if so,
you should ask explicitly)

> On 2011-03-05 23:46, Timo Juhani Lindfors wrote:
> > gnetworktester seems to parse the output of nmap and nmap upstream at
> > http://insecure.org/nmap/data/COPYING gives me the impression that
> > gnetworktester would thus be "derivative work".
> IANAL, but since when parsing the output of another program
> constitutes a derivative work?

IANAL either, but I don't think that parsing the output of a program
creates a derivative-base relationship...

> Indeed, the forementioned file
> says, a program would be a derivate in the authors
> interpretation of the GPL, if it
> """
>  o Executes Nmap and parses the results (as opposed to typical shell or
>    execution-menu apps, which simply display raw Nmap output and so are
>    not derivative works.)
> """
> What do the legal experts think about this, especially the
> parsing aspect?

It looks awkward, at least to me.

Even the FSF's interpretation (which stretches the definition of
derivative work quite a bit, in the attempt to defend the copyleft
mechanism of the GNU GPL) seems to assert that there's no derivation
going on, when the two programs "communicate at arms length" [1].

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

I would say that two programs communicate "at arms length", when one
executes the other and parses its output... 

Let's anyway wait for the opinion of other debian-legal regulars.

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