Open Source Decision Models

verdy_p verdy_p at
Fri Mar 5 18:49:45 UTC 2010

"Chris Travers" 
> I would suggest "code" as "whatever is subject to copyright controls"
> from the GPL's perspective.
> Data and equations themselves may not be protected, so you are left
> with licensing your creative arrangements of these things.
> Sounds like code to me....

What a stupid answer.

All of the creation is protected and covered by the licence (including the GPL), including data and equations, as 
far as copyright laws can cover them. The GPL obligations apply to all of them, even if it ALSO (but not only) 
defines code for explaining that it should also be available as humane-readable source (in a way that allows a 
humane to modify it and reacreate a derivative work).

For a spreadsheet, this means that formulas must be accessible in source-mode and the data that uses it must be 
accessible and modifiable, even if the spreadsheet exists also in a securely protected version. Remember that GPL's 
copyleft is a contractual extension of the legal copyright, the later is still directly rerefenced explicitly by the 
licence text. This extension is an additional grant of rights (that otherwise would be completely subsject to prior 
authorauthorizations) in exchange of additional obligations (which do not contradict the copyright laws).

The GPL is a true licence, and there has been much enough legal decisions in courts (at least in America and in 
europe) to confirm it. The author's rights are explicitly protected and they keep their freedom of providing other 
licences if needed, and the freedom of stopping delivering new copies of their product. In addition, the authorship 
is legally transmissible, like any other property, if the author ceases to exist (but their moral rights can't be 
seized, in countries where these rights are legally created, and recognized including by WIPO members, and the GPL 
does not restrict these moral rights).

There's no need to create then distinctions between data, formulas or presentation/design parts of a spreadsheet. If 
the spreadsheet is licenced, this licence covers it completely under copyright laws, even if there's adiitonal 
grants or obligations concessed by the author for specific parts in the specific text of the licence or in a non-
contradicting addendum or private contract.

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