Subject: RE: Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 16:52:42 -0800

> Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> > 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.
> 

Matthew Flaschen responded
> Well, if you're statically linking the executable will actually include
> code from the library; this is definitely a derivative work.  If you're
> dynamically linking, it will be designed to load code from the library;
> if only one library implements the API, the code is probably a
> derivative work of that library.

Would someone here please explain how the mere act of statically linking,
which may automatically and without my interference take some bytes from
program A and some bytes from program B and combine them in a memory image,
result--without more--in a creative work suitable for independent copyright?
Why shouldn't this be treated as "making a copy," which usually carries far
fewer obligations under reciprocal/copyleft licenses. 

I can't find any principled distinction in a copyright sense between static
and dynamic linking, although either kind of linking might be an indicator
of an intention to create a derivative work. You don't create a derivative
work unless you base one creative and expressive work on another, which you
can do equally easily (and equally hard) with static and dynamic linking.

/Larry


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matthew Flaschen [mailto:matthew.flaschen@gatech.edu]
> Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 3:30 PM
> To: lrosen@rosenlaw.com
> Cc: 'License Discuss'
> Subject: Re: Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License
> Misconceptions
> 
> Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> > 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.
> 
> Well, if you're statically linking the executable will actually include
> code from the library; this is definitely a derivative work.  If you're
> dynamically linking, it will be designed to load code from the library;
> if only one library implements the API, the code is probably a
> derivative work of that library.
> 
> Matthew Flaschen