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Re: using GPL api to be used in a properietary software

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: using GPL api to be used in a properietary software
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 13:58:24 +0100

On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 10:37:43 +0100
Martin Dickopp <> wrote:

> I find it unconvincing to argue that a program is not a derivative work
> of a dynamic library just because this case is not properly covered by a
> non-limitative list of illustrations.

The enumeration illustrates the way in which "based upon"
should be construed. A program in source code formar references 
a library, but is not based upon the library in the sense
of the definition in 101 USC 17 (which would require an
adaptation, transformation, etc. of the material in the
library). A book that refers the user to a dictionary for
the definition of a number of words is not a derivative
work of that dictionary. 

Both source code and dynamically linked executables refer to
the libraries (and other resources such as the OS). Once you
claim that a dynamically linked executable is a derivative
work of the libraries it "uses", you have precious few arguments
left to argue the source code is an independent work. You have
equally few arguments left to argue that programs aren't 
derivative works of the Operating System they run on.

Do _you_ see a significant difference between a function
or method call in source code, and its simple transformation
into a machine-usable format in the dynamically linked
executable? Isn't the latter simply a mechanical transformation
of the former?

As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning,
and meaningful statements lose precision. -- Lotfi Zadeh 

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