Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Fri Jan 26 22:08:45 UTC 2007

Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:
> John Cowan wrote:
>> Arnoud Engelfriet scripsit:
>>> Specifically written to work only with one particular other program.
>>> Then it's a derivative. It is based on one pre-existing work and
>>> cannot function without that specific pre-existing work. That makes
>>> it a derivative in my book.
>> That comes awfully close to saying that if you write an article arguing
>> for some position, and I write another article arguing against yours,
>> that my work is a derivative of yours, even if I don't quote you (or at
>> least not beyond fair use/fair dealing).  That seems to me a socially
>> dangerous position (it would make life hard for lawyers!).
> I'm not sure I follow that. A program cannot *function* without
> the pre-existing library. It has no purpose. It does not work.
> You can't make such a program without access to the library.
> The same can be said for an article. Although in that case you could
> probably rely on fair use or citation rights as an excuse for your
> derivation, so you would not be infringing.

Do you still think it would be a copyright infringement (though possibly
allowed by fair use) if no text was quoted?  I highly doubt that.

>> In particular, there exists the C Answer Book (Tondo & Gimpel), which
>> gives answers to the study questions in The C Programming Language
>> (Kernighan & Ritchie).  I can't see that it is a derivative work, even
>> though it is hardly usable without K&R.
> Well, personally I don't see why such an answer book is *not*
> a derivative work of K&R. It builds upon K&R and could not have
> been written without access to K&R.

I think this is a copyright infringement, because it uses the same form
(questions) as K&R.

 In a somewhat similar case,
> a US 2nd Circuit Case decided a trivia book for the TV show Seinfeld
> was a copyright infringement. 
> http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=2nd&navby=case&no=977992

I disagree here, unless the Seinfeld book was using large amounts of
exact quotation.

Matthew Flaschen

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