The Copyright Act preempts the GPL

Rod Dixon rodd at
Mon Feb 9 14:01:40 UTC 2004

In addition to the point made, you might inquire whether what a machine
does when compiling code is an apt comparison to what an individual does
when translating text. My answer is no since machines cannot be authors
under Copyright law.

On Mon, 9 Feb 2004, John Cowan wrote:

> Alexander Terekhov scripsit:
> > To me, compilers (and tools like
> > do nothing but "transliteration", not "translation" in the
> > legal sense. I may be wrong, of course.
> A strong point, certainly; but I think legal language, like ordinary
> language, applies "mechanical" to only a small subset of the acts that
> can actually be done by machines these days; roughly, those performable
> by machines that have only a small amount of state or none at all.
> Certainly machine translation is not translation in the full sense of
> the word, but the (very imperfect) state of the art requires considerably
> more state than seems to me consistent with the meaning of the word
> "mechanical".
> --
> All Norstrilians knew what laughter was:        John Cowan
> it was "pleasurable corrigible malfunction".
>         --Cordwainer Smith, _Norstrilia_        jcowan at
> --
> license-discuss archive is at
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