Question Regarding GPL

Rick Moen rick at
Sat Jan 21 01:56:23 UTC 2006

Quoting Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. (roddixon at

> Generally, to determine whether a derivative work is created (which is a 
> mixed question of fact and law in the U.S.), a court will analyze two 
> factors: (1) whether the module incorporates some form of the copyrighted 
> GPL'd work, and (2) whether the module is substantially similar to the 
> GPL'd work. The abstraction-filtration-comparison test applies to the 
> latter factor, not the former; consequently, it is not a dispositive test 
> as someone seemed to imply.

Oh, very well:  The factual question would be resolved by a court not by
consulting Torvalds's or anyone else's opinions, but (in USA
jurisdictions) by applying the Altai test to the allegedly infringing
code _or_ finding that the allegedly infringing code involved actual
substantive copying.  I had thought the latter point obvious.

Cheers,                                        "He who hesitates is frost."
Rick Moen                                                 -- Inuit proverb
rick at  

More information about the License-discuss mailing list