(OT) - Major Blow to Copyleft Theory

Chris Travers chris at metatrontech.com
Wed Aug 29 18:39:13 UTC 2007

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> On 8/29/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu> wrote:
>> Alexander Terekhov wrote:
>>> The standard for PI under copyright infringement claim includes
>>> presumption of irreparable harm. The judge didn't apply it (and used a
>>> contract standard instead).
>> She did consider, "a factual dispute concerning whether the Gemini
>> program is a derivative or an independent and separate work under
>> GPL ¶ 2.  After hearing, MySQL seems to have the better argument here,
>> but the matter is one of fair dispute."  Obviously, derivative works are
>> clearly a copyright law issue.
> Yeah, yeah. "Is static linking like two icons on one desktop?"
Clearly static linking creates at least a work with components under 
different copyright ownership so duplication requires the permission of 
both (different from dynamic linking in this regard).

IANAL, but I suspect that static linking might be derivative in some 
cases depending on how it was done (copying code or using a linker, 
etc).  In short, like all derivative works cases, is likely to require 
case-by-case analysis.

Since I wouldn't want to go to court, I wouldn't do it, anyway.

IANAL, but I doubt that linking (static or dynamic) is likely to be 
*sufficient* to show derivation anyway.  Otherwise, woe to anyone who 
uses ODBC ;-)
> http://web.archive.org/web/20040803222641/http://web.novalis.org/talks/lsm-talk-2004/slide-31.html
> <quote copyright=Free Software Foundation>
> Don't go to court
> FSF hasn't.
> Court is expensive
> Judges don't understand technology
>    "Is static linking like two icons on one desktop?"
>        -Judge Saris, MySQL v. Nusphere oral argument
> </quote>
"No, your honor.  The user has control over the position of icons on a 
desktop and therefore it lacks permanence.  This is more like taking 
those two icons and printing them on paper where the placement of the 
icons is made using practical considerations alone."  (IANAL).

> Translation: the FSF doesn't really believe that they could fool a
> judge into buying
> http://web.archive.org/web/20040927045018/http://web.novalis.org/talks/compliance-for-developers/slide-49.html

IANAL but I see two glaring issues with those slides.
1)  The slides seem to make the opposite case, wrt include files.  Also, 
in a linking map, what expressive components are actually included?  
Expressively, what is different between dynamic linking and fork/exec?

2)  Since screen output alteration can create a derivative work, isn't 
it possible that applications communicating using, say, SOAP could 
create an unauthorized derivative work of, say, screen output?

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers
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