Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Arnoud Engelfriet arnoud at engelfriet.net
Thu Jan 25 21:59:10 UTC 2007

Russ Nelson wrote:
> 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
> whatsoever.

If, as Matthew writes, part of the code is _specifically_ written to
work only with GNU readline and no other library, then the code is
a derivative work of GNU readline at the moment of creation. 

If you write to an API that happens to be implemented by GNU readline
as well as others, I don't see how you can be a derivative of one
particular implementation.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/

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