Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Sun Jan 28 22:01:06 UTC 2007

Ben Tilly wrote:
> In my opinion it should be a judgement call based on how closely
> connected your code is with the design of GNU readline.  Remember that
> copyright is not just intended to apply to literal copying.  For
> instance if I write a short story and Mickey Mouse appears in it, I'm
> going to hear from Disney's lawyers.

Yes, but probably on trademark grounds.

  Even though I have not copied
> anything exact, I can still be derivative of it.  Likewise if my code
> makes liberal use of ideas and memes created by GNU readline, there is
> an argument that I'm derivative of realine regardless of whether I
> link.

Ideas and memes alone shouldn't be enough to create a derivative work
under copyright law.

> Of course my opinion is influenced by having read
> http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Kernel/proprietary-kernel-modules.html in
> detail and then having thought about how the changing richness of the
> Linux kernel module API has changed Linus' opinions about when a
> binary module is a derived work of the Linux kernel.  (And why.)

That is a quite interesting compilation.

Matthew Flaschen

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