Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Ben Tilly btilly at gmail.com
Fri Jan 26 02:35:35 UTC 2007

On 1/25/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu> wrote:
> Ben Tilly wrote:
> > Another case of interest is the web.  Suppose that I write GPLed
> > software that produces a website.  There is no question that the web
> > pages that I display include lots of stuff that is part of my
> > codebase.
> Usually, you're not displaying parts of the codebase that are under the GPL.

No, I'm not displaying parts of the codebase.  But I'm displaying
documents that are derivatives of that codebase.  For instance n a
typical web page I'm going to include some graphics images, a CSS file
verbatim, possibly include some JavaScript files, and the content of
the page is going to include large sections of templates that were in
the codebase.  Much if not all of this is copyrightable information.

All that the GPL says on this topic is that "the output from the
Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the
Program".  I'm claiming that the output that is delivered constitutes
a work based on the Program.

Note that similar issues have come up in the case of gcc, and I have
heard that there are optimizations that have not been made because if
they were, then the compiled output from gcc would have to be GPLed.

>   I think they should therefore be GPLed.  And every time you
> > fetch a page, a derivative work has been distributed.  Does every
> > page, therefore, need to include a copy of the GPL?
> If you are really distributing GPLed content.



More information about the License-discuss mailing list