[License-discuss] Copyright on APIs

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Sat Jun 29 23:40:29 UTC 2019

Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz wrote:

> ... this invalidates also the theory of strong copyleft, in my opinion.


Bruce Perens wrote:

> I think we need another phrase than "strong copyleft".


I believe that Patrice-Emmanuel is correct for U.S. copyright law also. Unlike Bruce, I don't believe that the problem is the term "strong copyleft" but rather the strong assertion of some GPL license advocates who declare that mere linking between independent programs creates a copyright ("copyleft") obligation for both programs. Linking is an example of a mere API that can be used freely without obligations. (Other examples are "class inheritance" and "copying a functional header file.") Unless that is what we mean by API, then your program will adversely affect my independent program, without legal copyright or license authority.


That is what most of us are asking the US Supreme Court to acknowledge.


Pam Chestek asked:

> How do you know where the line is?


I believe the line is actual copying of the expressive source code.



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20190629/de2b1d15/attachment.html>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list