Subject: RE: Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 14:29:01 -0800

Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:
> 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.

Always???? So if I write a program to work only on Windows Vista and no
other system, is my code a derivative work of Windows? 

> If you write to an API that happens to be implemented by GNU readline
> as well as others, I don't see how you can be a derivative of one
> particular implementation.

What if those "others" implemented their API in order to be functionally
compatible with GNU readline? Which came first and who copied who? I think
that we also have to carefully distinguish between copyrightable subject
matter and other forms of IP. 

It is perhaps simpler to say that, to the extent that you write a program
that supports a particular API *without basing your expressive coding on
someone else's original copyrightable work*, there is no derivative work
problem. 

Dynamic *or* static. 

/Larry

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Arnoud Engelfriet [mailto:arnoud@engelfriet.net]
> Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 1:59 PM
> To: License Discuss
> Subject: Re: Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License
> Misconceptions
> 
> Russ Nelson wrote:
> > Matthew Flaschen writes:
> >  > Sticking to the example of readline and Python, part of the code is
> >  > still specifically written to depend on readline.  I think under
> Eben's
> >  > argument, this part would then be a derivative work.  Thus, that part
> at
> >  > least should be licensed under the GPL.
> >
> > Should it be licensed under the GPL before or after it's linked to
> > readline?  After all, the authors of Python have no control over what
> > code I actually link it to.  I might link it to readline; I might link
> > it to lineread, a 100% compatible implementation of readline which is
> > in the public domain, and which imposes no licensing obligation
> > whatsoever.
> 
> 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.
> 
> If you write to an API that happens to be implemented by GNU readline
> as well as others, I don't see how you can be a derivative of one
> particular implementation.
> 
> Arnoud
> 
> --
> Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for
> myself
> Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:
> http://www.iusmentis.com/