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

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: using GPL api to be used in a properietary software
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 16:16:42 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:

> On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 14:31:15 +0100
> David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:
>> > 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.
>> So why are there numerous court decisions that "deep linking" of
>> web site material constitutes copyright infringement?
> Are you implying that refering to dictionary does indeed create a
> derivative work?

It depends on the particular use.  If I encode a message by
exclusively referring to word/lines/pages of a particular dictionary,
then I have a quite different case than when I just say "look up the
term in a dictionary like Webster's".

>> > You have equally few arguments left to argue that programs aren't
>> > derivative works of the Operating System they run on.
>> Why do you think is there a special exception/clarification
>> regarding execution of executables in the Linux kernel licence?
> So are you of the opinion that every program, whatever the format
> (source or otherwise) is a derivative work of the Operating System
> (and as such could not be written without the prior consent of the
> owner of the OS copyrights)?

I am of the opinion that it is stupid to ignore existing court cases
and declare only those theories and cases relevant that one prefers

The execution of the law does not depend on my opinion about its
letter and spirit.

People are generously dealing in advice here even where the case law
indicates that in reality things are much less clearcut than they want
to make believe.  And that is simply reckless when giving advice.

> If so, you're casting your nets so wide that any new work becomes a
> derivative work of everthing previously written.

It is not I that is interpreting the law in the courts.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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