binary restrictions?

Greg London greglondon at
Sun Oct 7 22:21:23 UTC 2001

Steve Lhomme wrote:
> ----- 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...
> |

> |
> | 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
> work.

whoah, wait, there are not different LAWS
for open source software versus novels.
They both follow copyright law.
The original question was whether or not
compiling source code was "USE" or 
"DERIVED WORK" in the eyes of the LAW.

Which is a separate issue from why
open source LICENSES treat source code
and binaries differently.

The LAW says the copyright holder retains
all rights to derived works. Compiling is
a derived work. Therefore LICENSES do not
have to grant rights to binaries. 

why open source licenses treat them differently
is a separate issue. But the original question
basically was whether or not a software author
has the right to restrict binaries in the first 

I think copyright law says authors are given
the right to control binary versions of their
source code.

license-discuss archive is at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list