binary restrictions?

Steve Lhomme steve.lhomme at
Sun Oct 7 18:21:24 UTC 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Greg London" <greglondon at>
To: "Steve Lhomme" <steve.lhomme at>
Cc: <license-discuss at>
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2001 5:30 PM
Subject: Re: binary restrictions?

| Steve Lhomme wrote:
| > | A binary is a derived work.
| >
| > Are you sure of that ? When you compile
| > you USE the code not MODIFY it.
| > There's no derivation. Otherwise using
| > a software and changing the default
| > settings would be a derived work...
| source code is text that follows the
| rules of grammar for a particular language
| (C, C++, Perl, Java, Python, etc)
| A binary is text that follows the rules of
| grammar for a different language.
| The symbols are different from English
| alpha-numeric, the rules are different,
| but it is a readable language, nonetheless.
| (having debugged microcontroller machine
| code years ago, I can vouch for readability)
| converting source code to binary is in
| effect a *translation* from one language
| to another.

That makes good sense. But in this case, why is their different rules for
source code and binary versions of a work in most open-source licenses ? I
mean if it's a derived work, the rules applied are the same one of a derived


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