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Re: how much is too much?

From: Isaac
Subject: Re: how much is too much?
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 21:07:07 -0500
User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)

On Wed, 25 May 2005 16:14:54 -0500, John Hasler <> wrote:
> Jose Molina writes:
>> The specific case is OpenMotif on a RedHat system. I was going to link a
>> GPL'ed program (not developed by me) against it.
> You can do anything you want on your own computer.  The GPL only comes into
> effect when you distribute.

Well, the copyright statute says that one of the exclusive rights of the 
copyright holder is the *preparation* of derivative works.  (See 17 USC 106).
You don't have to distribute or copy such works in order to infringe.  
Creating a derivative work without is enough.  It is not clear to me
that the literal words of 2(a) of the GPL do not apply to someone who
modifies code on his own system.   I cannot imagine that most people
are interested in applying the GPL to a user who modifies code on his
own system, but maybe someone might want to do so in some limited
special situations.

Maybe linking against motif does not create a derivative work, maybe
motif is a system library, and maybe some exception to the copyright
holder's exclusive rights applies.


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