Is this better for tomsrtbt?

Eric Jacobs eaj at
Sun Apr 22 01:34:28 UTC 2001

Tom Oehser <tom at>

> What I don't like is other people just copying the *actual binary* 
> without giving any credit or acknoledgement that *they* don't want to 
> bother to compile it *themselves*.  As long as they mention where they 
> got it, I'm
> fine with it.
> So, in the case above, am I required not to add the 'give credit and 
> mention where you got it' clause to the binary object, even if I make 
> the source code available without any such restriction?

Yes. That would be in violation of Section 2b of the GPL.

> The GPL doesn't really clarify this, it is, after all, aiming at the 
> source code, and there is probably no consideration that anyone would
> *care* about a particular binary compile output.

Compiling a program into object code is certainly forming a derivative
work, and thus it falls under Section 2. The GPL does not need to
enumerate every different way to form derivative works in order for it
to apply to them.

Also, if you look at the language in the first line of Section 3, it
is clear that the GPL considers object code to fall under Section 2.

> Now, I can *definitely* apply this restriction to all the scripts and 
> Luas that I wrote from scratch, *maybe* apply it to the agglomeration 
> and the arrangement (such as using a very small gzipped root and bzip2ed 
> /usr, is that copyrightable?)

The idea of compressing filesystems? No, as copyright applies to
expressions and not ideas. The actual filesystems of course are
copyrightable, but then they are derivative of the works they contain,
and you will have to follow the GPL.

> and *maybe* apply it to my versions of the 
> documents and man pages.  It is *possible* that I can apply it to binary 
> objects where I am making the program *in source* available *without* 
> restriction, but I dunno from reading the licenses.

Are you talking about the GPL? The GPL states very explicitly in
Section 2b that derived works must be distributed under the terms of
the GPL. There is no provision for extra restrictions.

>  But I can 
> *ABSOLUTELY* make it clear that this is my desire, want, and 
> expectation, to the fullest extent legally available to me.

Which, under the GPL, is nil, unless you can find a law requiring
attribution. Don't pretend that this "desire, want, and expectation"
is part of the license, though. IANAL.

> That is 
> what I'm getting at, in my license- "as far as legally possible, if you 
> reuse ANY of this, you must give credit to the source".


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