Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions
arnoud at engelfriet.net
Sat Jan 27 19:31:30 UTC 2007
Russ Nelson wrote:
> 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
Your library would probably only copy the functional elements, i.e.
the function calls that GNU readline supports. If you don't copy
implementation, your library is not derivative of GNU readline.
A program originally written to work only with GNU readline is and
remains a derivative of GNU readline. A later compatible alternative
does not change that.
> 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.
I am not relying on the static/dynamic linking situation at all.
What I'm saying is that if you write something that needs GNU
readline to work, you have a derivative of GNU readline. That's
(in my eyes) a useful criterion. If you don't need GNU readline
but just any library that implements a char *readline() function,
you are not creating a derivative of GNU readline.
I still am unsure as to whether a Windows or Linux program would
be seen as a derivative work of Windows/Linux. Those programs are
written according to a more-or-less standard API, but there is only
one implementation of that API available. Fortunately this isn't
a problem in practice.
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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