[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

From: Martin Dickopp
Subject: Re: using GPL api to be used in a properietary software
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 12:12:29 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1007 (Gnus v5.10.7) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:

> 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).

That depends on what you mean by "etc." It would not, according to the
words of the law, require an adaption or transformation, since the list
of illustrations is not limitative.

> 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.

That depends on how the program has been created and other details. If a
program uses the ISO-standardized C library API, and uses no components
of a particular C library while it is being created, then a derivative
work of the program and a particular C library is created the moment the
program is run (and therefore linked with the library). But I can also
imagine different circumstances under which a derivative work is already
created when the programm is written.

I do believe that a look at a work is not enough to judge if it is a
derivative work of something, but the act of creation has also to be
taken into account. Imagine I take a program FOO and make some
modifications to it, forming a derivative work BAR. And now imagine a
different case where I write a program BAZ which is identical to BAR,
but I wrote it all myself and I didn't even know FOO existed. Even
though BAR and BAZ are identical bit by bit, I believe that BAR is a
derivative work of FOO, but BAZ it is not (regardless of the fact that
that might be hard to prove).

My opinion is therefore that there isn't a single rule, but that it can
only be decided on a case-by-case basis if something is a derivative
work of something else.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]