Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Thu Jan 25 17:34:01 UTC 2007

Matthew Flaschen writes:
 > Sticking to the example of readline and Python, part of the code is
 > still specifically written to depend on readline.  I think under Eben's
 > argument, this part would then be a derivative work.  Thus, that part at
 > least should be licensed under the GPL.

Should it be licensed under the GPL before or after it's linked to
readline?  After all, the authors of Python have no control over what
code I actually link it to.  I might link it to readline; I might link
it to lineread, a 100% compatible implementation of readline which is
in the public domain, and which imposes no licensing obligation

The question here is "Can you copyright an API"?  You can obviously
copyright the description of an API, but can you copyright the API
itself?  Or is it a listing of facts?

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