The Copyright Act preempts the GPL

jcowan at jcowan at
Mon Feb 9 15:05:38 UTC 2004

Rod Dixon scripsit:

> 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.

Questionless.  But machines don't compile code, people use machines to
compile code.  Similarly, you can use the GIMP to colorize a photograph
(thus creating a derivative work), but that does not make the colorized
photograph the product of a "mere mechanical process".

John Cowan  jcowan at
Consider the matter of Analytic Philosophy.  Dennett and Bennett are well-known.
Dennett rarely or never cites Bennett, so Bennett rarely or never cites Dennett.
There is also one Dummett.  By their works shall ye know them.  However, just as
no trinities have fourth persons (Zeppo Marx notwithstanding), Bummett is hardly
known by his works.  Indeed, Bummett does not exist.  It is part of the function
of this and other e-mail messages, therefore, to do what they can to create him.
license-discuss archive is at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list