Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions
nelson at crynwr.com
Sat Jan 27 19:16:02 UTC 2007
Arnoud Engelfriet writes:
> 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.
And if I later write a library compatible with GNU readline, that
makes the code NOT a derivative work? How can that be? It's either
derived in the sense that I incoporated parts of GNU readline into my
code, or else it's NOT derivative because no part of GNU readline was
The standard interpretation of linking forming a derivative work has
no basis in copyright law. A staticly linked program is a collective
work, perhaps, but not derivative. A derivative work is where I take
an existing library and add my own calls to it. A dynamically linked
program which includes no portion of the library is neither derivative
nor collective. The dynamic linking information is just a set of
names; it's not the code itself.
The dynamic linking argument has no legs unless you can claim
copyright on a list of names. If somebody else produces a similar but
different list, does that infringe your copyright? Not obvious.
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